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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Vincent F Carr, DO, MSA, FACC, FACP (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences)
Description: This condensed version of Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine was first developed in 1988 to focus on the key clinical issues likely to be encountered on a medical service. This edition continues the book's long history of excellence in documenting the current understanding of human normal and pathophysiology.
Purpose: The editors attempt to keep step with the advances of the science of medicine while maintaining an appreciation of the art of medicine and the principles underlying the optimal care of the patient. It is crystal clear they have been successful. The first chapter illustrates the point by outlining a philosophy and approach to the patient, gently warning of the biases that human physicians can fall prey to, and touching on the challenges for the future.
Audience: This condensed version is for anyone who has the remotest association with the practice of medicine, be they internists, surgeons, nurses, technical staff, or counselors. This is the authority, and in a time of readily available but not always accurate information, this is the one source that can be relied upon, in an almost pocket-sized edition.
Features: The manual has all of the pertinent clinical elements of the diagnosis, clinical manifestations, and treatment of the major diseases without the supporting documentation of the pathophysiology, but there are references to these at the end of each chapter to allow readers to fill in the gaps with the main text. The index is intuitive and easy to use.
Assessment: While the main text is one of the absolute pillars of any medical library, this is the pillar to be carried with you on rounds. It is the final word in internal medicine and we all owe a debt of gratitude to the editors and contributors who have created this extraordinary authority in medicine.