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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Renata H. Mullen, MD (Palo Alto Medical Foundation)
Description: This comprehensive dermatology textbook is meant to be used as a teaching guide and as a reference. A CD-ROM of the book is also provided, which includes access to a continually updated online edition.
Purpose: According to the authors, the book is intended to function as a reference which provides succinct, up-to-date information that is both precise and practical. These are worthy objectives, and they are, for the most part, achieved.
Audience: The book is written for dermatology residents and practicing dermatologists; it is too detailed for a medical student. It can further be used as a reference by practicing internists or family practitioners. The authors are credible authorities.
Features: The book covers the spectrum of general dermatology. It has an appropriately brief section on basic science and the majority of the book covers medical dermatology. Also included is an extensive section on dermatologic surgery as well as a separate one on cosmetic surgery. Medical therapy and physical treatment modalities are covered in two separate sections. The best aspect of the book is its visual approach to diagnoses and patient work-ups, which use many useful graphs and tables. The book provides comprehensive coverage of differential diagnoses, so important in the clinical practice of medicine but often neglected in textbooks. There are two outstanding chapters on purpura which approach this difficult topic from a unique clinical differential standpoint, and this alone is almost worth the price of the book. Unfortunately, several tables were jumbled in the printing which seriously compromises the content of the chapter. Perhaps this could be cleared up on the CD-ROM version of the book. The photographs are in color and of excellent quality. However, there are some disease entities that have no photographs whatsoever, which is a major omission in a visual specialty such as dermatology (e.g. Grover's disease, cutaneous myiasis, eosinophilic fasciitis, to list a few). The coverage of medical dermatology is for the most part thorough and complete; there are a few areas, however, where more in-depth detail aimed more at the practicing dermatologist rather than the resident would be helpful. The different sections in the book are color-coded with each topic easily visible on the page margin, which makes it easy to retrieve information. The index is comprehensive and easy to use; however, the print size in the index is tiny, making it hard to read.
Assessment: This book is a useful addition to a dermatologist's library. Compared to the other major textbooks of general dermatology, it excels in its use of tables and differential diagnoses, and covers dermatologic surgery more extensively.