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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Heather Huang, MD (University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health)
Description: Designed to facilitate the diagnostic and therapeutic decision-making process, this book consists of comprehensive algorithmic decision trees that guide readers through more than 250 disorders. Brief text accompanies each algorithm and explains the key steps of the decision-making process. The previous edition was published in 1998.
Purpose: The purpose is to present an organized approach to making clinical decisions. It does so by presenting various algorithms that walk readers through how to diagnostically and therapeutically approach signs, symptoms, problems, or laboratory tests that could arise in various clinical internal medicine settings. The algorithms are designed to provide readers with templates that guide the clinical decision-making and thought processes. The additional goal is to minimize unnecessary testing, control medical costs, and provide uniform quality care in the evaluation of patients.
Audience: The book is written for medical practitioners, residents, medical students, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants seeking guidelines for diagnosis.
Features: It covers a wide array of general and internal medicine topics that could be encountered in both outpatient and inpatient settings. The algorithms are organized by organ systems as well as by sign, symptom, problem, or laboratory test. Each algorithm is clearly presented and comprehensively assists readers in considering a wide range of diagnoses. Short descriptions explaining the various steps in the decision-making process of the algorithms are provided on separate pages.
Assessment: While most internal medicine reference books focus on delivering information and knowledge to the reader, this one assists practitioners with the use of that knowledge. Through the use of comprehensive algorithms, it reveals how the clinical decision-making and thought process requires an organized and systematic approach. This book would be a useful reference for any medical practitioner.