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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Vincent F Carr, DO, MSA, FACC, FACP (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences)
Description: This is the seventeenth edition of the most recognized comprehensive authority in internal medicine. This edition continues the book's long history of excellence in documenting the current understanding of human normal and pathophysiology. First published in 1958, the most recent edition was published in 2005.
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. Upon review, 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 touch on the challenges for the future. Well done.
Audience: The book 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.
Features: One of the highlights is a CD-ROM with supplemental graphs, photographs, videos and summaries. Yet, this CD does not detract from the full-color photographs in the book, the comprehensive tables and color figures, the definitions of terms, advice for further in-depth readings, and references. Numerous epidemiological issues, marked by small globes in the margins, give the bigger picture of how a medical concern may have global impact. Also of note are "social" issues such as bioterrorism concerns embedded in the infectious disease chapter, a separate radiological bioterrorism chapter, and employee health service-specific considerations. The index is comprehensive and intuitive.
Assessment: This is one of the absolute pillars of any medical library. 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.