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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Vincent F Carr, DO, MSA, FACC, FACP (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences)
Description: This reference of diagnostic tests is an unusual book. Instead of going into detail about the physiologic basis for a test, this practice-oriented book discusses how to use ancillary diagnostic tests, laboratory and imaging modalities.
Purpose: It is intended as a practical and concise guide for clinicians, and it does that well.
Audience: This is valuable for every level of clinician, from student through attending. The author is a clinician and recognized expert.
Features: The book starts with diagnostic imaging, using an organ-system approach citing indications, strengths, and weaknesses of each modality. It does not attempt to teach how to interpret the image, but rather when to order the test and how to understand the limitations of the test. The second section on laboratory-based tests details when to order and how to interpret the results. The final section addresses the appropriate ancillary modalities for specific diagnoses. This is a tremendously useful book for clinicians faced with an ever-changing landscape of possible tests to order.
Assessment: The extraordinary value of this book is that it enables clinicians to stay current with the newer modalities and details how to obtain the best information for the cost. This is a cost-effective addition to every clinician's library and will benefit patients by limiting their exposure to tests that may not be the most effective in substantiating a diagnosis.