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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Patricia Wong, MD (Stanford University Medical Center)
Description: This is a condensed, abbreviated version of a general medical book for diagnosis and treatment with brief discussions of the diseases that is updated annually. It is useful for its succinctness. I wish it were printed on heavier paper. One would use this as a medical reference to look up information quickly but the paper will tear and fold easily. Included is a smaller paperback which is a summary of the main book called Essentials of Diagnosis and Treatment. It is composed of lists of the differential diagnoses, symptoms, and treatment. There is a medical tip at the bottom of each page.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a practical reference for medical residents and practitioners. The information is up-to-date and there are good discussions including diagnostic tips in history taking.
Audience: The intended audience is primary care providers, housestaff, medical students, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
Features: Etiology and pathophysiology are covered well in the book. Each disease is subdivided into the clinical presentation, laboratory findings, differential diagnosis, and treatment. The advice on treatment is practical and inclusive; drug therapy, diet, and psychosocial support are all mentioned. Decision analysis tables are included to aid the clinician in making a diagnosis. (For example the workup of a breast mass.) The orthopedic section is not as comprehensive nor did it provide enough specific treatment information. Because each section is written by a different author, the style varies somewhat. The differential diagnosis is not always as complete as I would have liked to have seen. For example, the differential diagnosis of sporotrichoid lesions should have included Nocardia braziliensis, mycobacterium marinum, mycobacterium kansaii, Leishmaniasis braziliensis, and Francisella tularensis.
Assessment: Overall, this is a good bargain for the amount of helpful, up-to-date information. I like it better than The Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics, 30th Edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001).