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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Malek H Akhal, MD (Creighton University Medical Center)
Description: In its first edition, this book adopts a case-based approach and is a comprehensive review for the American Board of Family Practice certification exam. It is also a useful tool for USMLE Step 3 exam. The authors did a good job of including tables, hints and colored illustrations.
Purpose: The purpose of the book is to be a comprehensive review tool for the American Board of Family Practice certification exam. This objective is quite reasonable especially in the field of family practice where physicians are required to encompass a vast knowledge of different topics and specialties. By and large, I believe that the book meets the authors' objectives.
Audience: As per the authors, this book is intended for family practice doctors preparing for the certification exam, in addition to nurse practitioners, physician assistants and students. I believe, this book can be read with ease by students and health professionals at different levels. The authors contributed both by reviewing the literature themselves and by utilizing the expertise of specialists primarily at their institution.
Features: This book covers various topics in emergency medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/women's health, geriatrics, pediatrics, and medical ethics/legal issues. The unique aspect of this book is the case-based approach and the use of tables, and good quality illustrations including CXR/EKG and colored plates. Although the case-based approach is a strength of this book, it is not very thought provoking since answers follow questions immediately.
Assessment: Personally, I believe this first edition is a good attempt for a comprehensive and user-friendly review for the Family Practice Board certification exam. Its cased-based approach is a clever idea; however, it can be more thought stimulating if the answers are in a different section rather than following the questions directly. Furthermore, having a summary section at the end of cases instead of "Objectives: Did you learn to..." can reinforce and solidify the basic concepts learned from the cases.