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From The CriticsReviewer: Heather Huang, MD (University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health)
Description: The eighteenth edition of Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine comes with new chapters, including "Systems Biology in Health and Disease," "The Human Microbiome," "The Biology of Aging," and "Neuropsychiatric Illnesses in War Veterans," and an updated DVD.
Purpose: It is intended to provide the foundation that is essential to understanding the various aspects of internal medicine. It continues to focus on the pathophysiological basis of disease while discussing clinical relevance, approach, and management. It additionally seeks to update and extensively modify the previous edition to discuss the areas of medicine that have evolved since that book was published 2008.
Audience: Written for a wide variety of audiences, the book primarily targets anyone involved in the field of medicine, whether in clinical or research realms, and students.
Features: Covering nearly every possible topic in the field of medicine, the book begins with a phenomenal overview of clinical medicine, discussing important topics such as global medicine, decision-making in clinical practice, the concepts of disease screening and prevention, as well as the importance of medical disorders in specific groups (e.g. women, surgical patients, end of life). The extensive chapters that follow focus on a symptom-based presentation of disease and then illness organized by organ system. Numerous tables, graphs, and figures add further clarity to the text. The accompanying DVD includes extensive video and image collections of pathology, histology, procedures, additional lectures, and radiology. The chapters on psychiatric disease could be expanded to focus more on the relevance that psychiatric illness has to medical disease.
Assessment: Written by experts in the field, this book is updated with the latest advances in pathophysiology and treatment. It is organized in a way that makes reading from beginning to end a logical journey, yet each chapter can stand alone as a quick reference on a particular topic. The DVD will serve as an invaluable resource for any clinician, student, or researcher. Future editions could work toward strengthening the sections on psychiatric disorders and mental health given their prevalence and significant impact on individuals with comorbid disease.