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From The CriticsReviewer: William Miles, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This softcover book is an abridged version of the authors' two-volume comprehensive psychiatric textbook Psychiatry, 2nd edition (John Wiley & Sons, 2003).
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an abbreviated yet thorough overview of clinical psychiatry. Although there are already other books that serve this purpose, these are still worthy objectives, and the authors certainly meet them.
Audience: According to the authors, this book is written for psychiatry residents, nonpsychiatric physicians, medical students, and other mental health professionals. This target audience would find the book enormously beneficial, but practicing psychiatrists should be included in this list.
Features: The book is divided into six parts: patient approaches, normal human behavior, scientific foundations, assessment, disorders, and therapeutics. Each part contains several chapters, each providing a thorough, well written account of its subject. Copious references end each chapter. Although all parts of this book are excellent, the part on scientific foundations is especially well organized and written, and should be required reading for all medical students and psychiatric residents. Most chapters also contain several clinical vignettes, always a helpful feature. Numerous illustrations and tables are scattered throughout, and a full index ends the book.
Assessment: There are several comprehensive psychiatric textbooks available, most of them well written and thorough. However, this one must be placed near the top of the list because it provides a marvelous, thorough review of psychiatry in a well organized, easy-to-read fashion. Kudos to the authors for condensing their already excellent two-volume set into a single volume. Most clinicians will find that this single-volume book will meet their needs for a comprehensive textbook of psychiatry.