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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Y. Alan Lambert, MD (Baylor College of Medicine)
Description: This book provides a review for American Board of Family Practice (ABFP) examinations.
Purpose: Its purpose is to prepare the reader for examinations administered by the ABFP, and this worthwhile objective is met.
Audience: This review is directed toward family practice residents, to help them do well on in-service examinations, as well as practicing physicians, to help them pass the ABFP certification or re-certification examinations. The author is credible in the field.
Features: This book has a very simple and short format consisting of an explanation of how to register for the various ABFP examinations; a few pages explaining test-taking tips; Part I multiple-choice questions (MCQs); and Part II clinical problem sets (CPSs). Part I consists of 561 one-best answer MCQs covering internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, surgery, and geriatrics. Almost one-half (269) of the MCQs are in the internal medicine section. Part II consists of 42 CPSs (patient management scenarios) with 519 options, each requiring a true or false choice. Of the MCQs, I judge that the mythical "minimally competent family physician" would find 15 percent very difficult to answer, 45 percent moderately difficult to answer, and 40 percent relatively easy to answer. Some of the references are dated.
Assessment: Two main strengths are evident. Most of the disciplines needed to practice good family medicine are covered adequately, and all questions and problems have very good, detailed answer and explanation sections. The main weakness is the fact that there are no multiple true-false (X-type) MCQs. This review book is well worth the price, especially since a postage-free card is provided to order a free CD-ROM supplement from the publisher.