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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Vincent F Carr, DO, MSA, FACC, FACP (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences)
Description: The vast majority of current research concerns new therapeutic modalities. This book looks at a relatively little discussed, but equally important, concept of how chronic conditions are monitored. Most interesting is the discussion concerning the available evidence upon which to base monitoring decisions.
Purpose: The author presents an authoritative consideration of the principles of monitoring chronic conditions and the success of therapeutic interventions. Considering the cost of both the therapeutics and the monitoring modalities, this goal of asking what we are doing is most important and the authors have given us a unique and easily understandable thought process to evaluate our habits.
Audience: This is a highly useful approach for students learning and forming their practice habits and also for experienced attending clinicians who may wish to reconsider their approach to chronic care. The authors are seasoned professors who have the experience to both question the common wisdom and show a new way to monitoring patients.
Features: The book takes one through the thought process of why monitoring testing is performed, emphasizing the principles of testing based upon proper timing, physiology, and the potential for changing therapy. They make an excellent case that monitoring in the acute or after changes stage is different that the chronic stage when stability is anticipated. Chapters also cover very practical situations such as diabetes, chronic anticoagulation, and transplantation and intensive care medicine. The references are very good and the index complete.
Assessment: Simply stated, this should be mandatory reading for medical students, perhaps the basis for an entire course of study in medical school, and somehow periodic reading for clinicians in practice. The book is that valuable!