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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Donald R. Frey, MD (Creighton University Medical Center)
Description: This paperback manual is the portable version of Rakel's landmark Textbook of Family Practice (6th edition, Elsevier, 2002). This smaller edition is packed with web-linked, evidence-rated information woven together in a case studies format.
Purpose: The book is designed for students of the discipline of family medicine, and those seeking a thorough overview. The work fits that unique middle ground of a near-comprehensive text in an easily readable format.
Audience: The intended audience is medical students learning the basics of family medicine, although midlevel providers as well as a variety of primary care residents will find the book's patient-focused approach useful. The authors are all distinguished family medicine educators from a variety of institutions around the country.
Features: The breadth of family medicine is well covered in the 96 chapters. Each begins with a series of key points that serve to focus the learner, followed by an illustrative case, including differential diagnosis and follow-up. A discussion section refocuses the case toward the disease process being presented. Charts, diagrams, and illustrations are very well done and extremely helpful.
Assessment: Any work on family medicine that carries the name Rakel is immediately held to a very high standard, and this book doesn't disappoint. A student — or more experienced physician — will find the nuts and bolts of the specialty between the book's covers, in a readable format that will continue to make it one of the most widely read family medicine guides in our learning institutions.