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From The CriticsReviewer: Thomas J. Hansen, MD (Advocate Health Care)
Description: The five sections of this manual for family physicians focus on common complaints, chronic illnesses, psychiatric disorders, reproductive health, and preventive medicine. This fifth edition updates a 2005 edition.
Purpose: The purpose is to present the most common complaints and diseases encountered by family physicians in ambulatory settings. The topics were selected from surveys of primary care physicians and the evidence-based information includes the strength of the recommendations. These objectives are relevant given the complexity of cases the Family Physician sees on a daily basis.
Audience: This book was written for primary care physicians, residents, medical students, and midlevel providers.
Features: Common complains are presented in the first section accompanied by common diagnoses, signs and symptoms to help differentiate diagnoses, and evidence-based treatment plans. Topics include abnormal pap smears, chest pain, constipation, dermatitis, fatigue, headaches, low back pain, pediatric fever, and pelvic pain. The second section is dedicated to common chronic diseases. An example is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in which the pathophysiology, epidemiology, diagnostic tests, classification, and treatment plans/goals are covered. Other common chronic diseases are AIDS, asthma, chronic pain, cirrhosis, congestive heart failure, dementia, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and renal failure, among many others. The third section is dedicated to psychiatric disorders, the fourth covers reproductive health, and the fifth addresses preventive medicine. Color photos of dermatologic pathologies are placed in the center of the book to complement the black-and-white photos found in the various chapters. While this is understandable from an economic standpoint, it would have been helpful to have the color photos in the respective chapters. Most of the topics focus on adult medicine, although some chapters reference pediatric complaints. However, it would be preferable if the chapters specifically addressed pediatric diagnoses and treatments, then adult diagnoses and treatments.
Assessment: Aside from these two recommendations, the book is informative and well written. This will be a welcome addition to the library at the Family Medicine Center and a great resource in preparing teaching pearls for residents and medical students.