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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Kathleen E Kramer, MD (Stanford University)
Description: This unique dermatology book, rather than passively presenting the usual information found in a textbook, instead poses questions to readers and then provides the answers. In this way, students are forced to actively learn the material. The last edition was 2001.
Purpose: The purpose is to teach the field of dermatology through an active method, the Socratic method, rather than by passive reading. This is a very useful objective, especially for students who find it difficult to remember information passively read. The book provides a very useful, active, learning tool. It is well written, thoughtful, concise, and complete.
Audience: Dermatology residents or others learning the field of dermatology are the intended readers. It could be used as a reference, as the index is fairly complete, but the main goal is to help students learn. The editors are respected leaders in the field of dermatology.
Features: The book is divided into chapters by disease type: inherited disorders, inflammatory, malignant, infestations, etc. Additional chapters cover special patient populations, such as neonatal and geriatric, and treatment modalities. The most impressive aspect of this book is the way it presents the salient information about a dermatologic disorder, but in a question format so that readers not only learn the information, but also get salient facts, with good clinical photos and figures as well. The book also has a "top 100 secrets" list which would be useful for a student studying for boards.
Assessment: This would be great as a study tool. It is complete and concise in its presentation of salient information in a clear, well-thought out fashion using the Socratic method to pose questions, insuring that learning is an active, rather than passive pursuit.