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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Donald R. Frey, MD (Creighton University Medical Center)
Description: This manual is a compilation of board-style test questions, accompanied by answers and explanations for each item.
Purpose: The book's expressed purpose is to enable the reader to successfully pass certification and recertification exams by the American Board of Family Practice. A review of the questions, as well as the accompanying answers and explanations, indicates an excellent representation of the types of questions frequently encountered on family practice boards.
Audience: Although clearly written for physicians preparing for formal board exams, the book will nonetheless benefit any learner who wishes to get an assessment of her/his understanding of the broad-based specialty of family practice. The author is an academic family physician with a good understanding of the nature of the boards.
Features: The book begins with a very useful set of guidelines and recommendations regarding the concepts of test taking and exam preparation. The bulk of the text is divided into specialty categories, the length of each approximating the emphasis the exam places on each specialty section. Test questions are developed in a board-style format, with pictorial questions (such as dermatology) playing an appropriate role. The explanation for each correct answer is well articulated and appropriately referenced.
Assessment: This 300-page paperback is a solid, cost-effective way to assess one's knowledge of family practice and to prepare for the certification exam. Although it is not a substitute for more authoritative formal texts, it nonetheless packs a great deal of useful information into its question-and-answer format, and can thus may be used as a true learning tool. For many of us, it will be a practical substitute for the lengthy (and often quite expensive) board review courses.