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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Vincent F Carr, DO, MSA, FACC, FACP (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences)
Description: This book, one in a series that summarizes concepts as a memory jogger, outlines the common diagnoses commonly encountered in medical practice. The previous edition was published in 2007.
Purpose: The editor relates his personal experience of struggling to see "the forest for the trees" and has initiated the series to simplify "the abundance of medical knowledge into a manageable nucleus."
Audience: The stated audience includes those preparing for rounds, studying for boards, or desiring a resource for independent study. The contributors are mostly clinicians associated with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Features: The format for each chapter includes an introduction; etiology, epidemiology and risk factors; patient presentations; differential diagnosis; diagnostic evaluation, treatment, and management; and prognosis and possible complications. This is a nice approach, but forces some difficult decisions on what to include in the two-page format for each diagnosis. Subsequently, there is no room for figures, and a text-only description of some diagnoses, such as AV block and bradycardia, assumes a working knowledge of the subject prior to consulting this book. There are no references, consistent with the format of the book.
Assessment: Nothing makes this book stand out as a must-have and there are some significant deficiencies for anyone preparing for board examinations.