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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Andrea Lee Holcombe, MS (University of Iowa College of Public Health)
Description: This is the fourth edition of an overview of the fundamentals of biostatistics and epidemiology specifically tailored to individuals preparing for the USMLE Step 1 examination. The 2005 edition did not include concepts from epidemiology or public health, which were recently added to the USMLE.
Purpose: The author succeeds in providing a concise but clear overview of important concepts and takes special care to avoid extraneous information to maximize USMLE preparation efficiency.
Audience: The author, a faculty member at the Medical University of South Carolina, specifically designed the book to aid individuals preparing for the USMLE Step 1. Dr. Glaser succeeds in providing a useful overview of concepts from biostatistics, epidemiology, and public health. The tailored design results in limited usefulness for anyone not preparing for the USMLE or who requires any in-depth knowledge of the concepts.
Features: The book covers a wide range of topics in the three areas. About half of the book is devoted to concepts from biostatistics, while the other half covers research methods, epidemiology, and public health. Dr. Glaser takes care to select clear, real-life examples related to the concepts. To assist in preparation for the USMLE, the book also offers several study tools. One is high-yield points, which are important concepts or definitions that are marked for quick reference. In addition, it provides an ultra-high-yield review, which is a table that consists of important terms with related examples and mnemonic devices, as well as reference pages, helpful for a quick or final review of the concepts. The level of detail presented for each concept is determined by the depth of knowledge required by the USMLE.
Assessment: The book is successful in providing a clear overview of fundamental concepts from biostatistics, epidemiology, and public health in preparation for the USMLE Step 1. The addition of the epidemiology and public health material sets this edition apart from previous editions and stays current with the USMLE. While the concepts are not covered in depth and may not be adequate for everyone, the book is a good, concise overview of the basic principles of these areas. As intended, individuals preparing for the USMLE Step 1 will benefit the most from this book.