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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bradley R. Cutler, MD (Edward Hospital and Health Services)
Description: Comprising essential information from the comprehensive Psychiatry, 3rd edition, Tasman et al. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008), this book presents the vast knowledge of psychiatry in a need to know format, appropriate as an introduction.
Purpose: This foundational book is designed to serve as a clinical reference for those interested in mental health. The authors add that it is meant to facilitate additional learning, guiding readers to resources that will further enhance their knowledge. Moreover, the authors strongly commit themselves to an integrative approach to patient care, emphasizing the care of the whole person and stressing the importance of a collaborative relationship among patients, families, and caregivers.
Audience: While the book is an excellent introduction for students and practitioners in training, primary care physicians are also encouraged to refer to it as a useful clinical reference.
Features: Composed of 29 chapters, the book is divided into five units that cover an introduction to the foundations of mental illness, the context of patient care, clinical disorders, assessment and therapeutic strategies, and special topics including psychiatric emergencies and violence. Tables and boxes populate the text, illustrating important concepts. Clinical vignettes help bring the material to life. Key points in each chapter emphasize essential information. References at the end of each chapter guide readers to additional resources.
Assessment: There are other books that present a foundation of the field of psychiatry, but this one masterfully integrates the art and science of medicine. The authors provide a detailed description of psychiatric disorders, yet at the same time emphasize the care of the whole person. Chapters on the cultural context of care, the multidisciplinary treatment team, and ethical practice allow readers to appreciate aspects of psychiatry that cannot be described by a list of diagnostic criteria. Distilling the vast amount of psychiatric information into a foundational text is no easy task, yet the authors have masterfully accomplished it, providing a book that will be of great value to those interested in mental health.