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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Nancy Schell, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book is a condensed version of Hales' The American Psychiatric Press Textbook of Psychiatry, 3rd Edition (American Psychiatric Press, 1999), with a primary emphasis on the fundamental knowledge base and skills necessary for clinical practice in various settings. There is a companion study guide of questions, though that is not reviewed here.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a synopsis of the most important material contained in the third edition of The American Psychiatric Press Textbook of Psychiatry for ease of access and understanding.
Audience: It is intended for medical students and junior psychiatry residents.
Features: Strong features of the book are comprehensiveness and integration. Each topic is fully integrated with a clear discussion of biological and psychological aspects. The contents are comprehensive and include neuroscience, normal childhood development and childhood disorders, interview techniques with good examples, lab and other diagnostic tests, a full section on disorders and their treatment, as well as another section devoted to various specific treatment modalities. Within the text are tables of the DSM-IV criteria and other helpful charts or illustrations. A separate appendix is a compilation of the DSM-IV criteria. Though most ideas are well explained, the glossary is a helpful addition. References are plentiful.
Assessment: This book is exceptionally well suited to the stated audience. It is written clearly and is easy to understand and read. The editors meet their goal of highlighting the essentials. The book is very relevant and is highly recommended