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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Joel C Seidman, MD (William Beaumont Hospitals)
Description: This is the significantly revised fourth edition of a book last published a decade ago that broadly addresses all aspects of pulmonary disease. All four editions were likely intended as prospective tutorials and retrospective references for pulmonologists/intensivists in training and in practice. Chapters thoroughly address the entire gamut of bronchopulmonary pathophysiology and clinical practice, stressing recent changes in thinking and new developments in molecular biology, diagnostic technology, procedural process, and pharmacotherapeutics.
Purpose: The book is an attempt to compile the observations of authorities from diverse experience to provide a comprehensive review of the current state of the art in pulmonology.
Audience: Primary care internists, pulmonologists, and intensivists are the audience invited to share the knowledge and experiences of their peers. Nurses, respiratory therapists, and rehabilitators also would undoubtedly find the book informative.
Features: This comprehensive and up-to-date treatise on pulmonology compares favorably with others in the field (Mason et al., Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine, 4th edition (Elsevier, 2005); Baum et al., Textbook of Pulmonary Diseases, 6th edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1998), and it is the most recently released. This edition augments substantially the presentation of the last edition. Illustrations and graphics are generally sufficient to carry out the ends of each chapter and the bibliographies at each chapter end are relevant and timely. However, the book covers and bindings are particularly subject to bending and fracture; the color-coding atop pages (also viewable with the book closed) is not helpful, but rather confusing. Radiographic reproductions are of very poor quality, and essential elements of many nearly impossible to see; the exceptionally glossy pages make it difficult for an old-fashioned note-maker or under liner to mark the text if desired. Seemingly to save space, authors regularly coin unfamiliar acronyms at the beginning of a chapter, and then continue to use them throughout in a most distracting manner. As for the title, I have remained uncertain respecting the difference between a disease and a disorder.
Assessment: The book achieves its likely intended goals relatively well. For an average primary care practitioner, it comes across as reachable; for the pulmonologist/intensivist, it is a good reference to be complemented by other sources. Clearly, a decade's span between editions in medical references usually necessitates the addition of much new information, and that is the case here. I would consider this a practical resource and would have some, but not compelling, enthusiasm about adding it to my personal library.