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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Patricia Wong, MD (Stanford University Medical Center)
Description: This is an update of THE encyclopedia of dermatology last published in 2008. All known dermatologic conditions are discussed. Chapters are abundant with shaded tables summarizing salient clinical points about each disease and comparing side effects of treatments, and detailed diagrams outlining mechanisms of pathophysiology. The many color clinical photographs are helpfully juxtaposed with color histologic photographs enabling readers to correlate clinical manifestations with microscopic changes. There are discussions on cosmetic issues, surgeries, and medications. DVDs that accompany the book have photographs that can be downloaded and tailored for presentations.
Purpose: This is intended as a comprehensive and current reference for all dermatologic subjects.
Audience: The audience is dermatologists and dermatology residents.
Features: Despite the comprehensiveness of the book, one will still need to supplement with specialized books to be knowledgeably informed on a particular subject. For example, the chapter on drug interactions, written by Stephen Wolverton, is seven pages in length. Readers definitely need to purchase this author's excellent book, Comprehensive Dermatologic Drug Therapy, 3rd edition (Elsevier, 2013), for more in-depth coverage. The chapter in this book discusses broad concepts of drug interactions (competitive inhibition of hepatic cytochrome enzymes) but does not detail specific drug-drug interactions. Strengths of this book include the most up-to-date information on various topics. I was surprised to see that the book includes discussions on upcoming treatments that are currently undergoing FDA approval. It also mentions medications that are currently available in Canada and Europe but not in the U.S. The book provides a good foundation for discussing current principles of practice, treatment, and immunologic and genetic causes of diseases. The discussions are succinct.
Assessment: It is difficult to imagine not owning this book. As a dermatologist, you would be shortchanging yourself and your patients if you didn't have it. I found it to be helpful for updating fundamental knowledge base on a particular disease and becoming aware of changes and gaps in understanding that should be further pursued.