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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: William Miles, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is the fourth edition of the authors' highly regarded and widely used introductory textbook to psychiatric medicine. The third edition was published in 2001.
Purpose: The purpose is to introduce medical students and students in related disciplines to psychiatry, and to provide a tool they can use to help them learn about this branch of medicine. The authors state in the introduction that the book is a tool, and nothing more, emphasizing that the majority of learning comes from patients.
Audience: The book is targeted to medical students, students in related fields, and psychiatry residents early in their training. Although I agree with this audience, the book would benefit anyone wanting to find out more about this field.
Features: Part I is divided into two chapters, and focuses on assessing/interviewing psychiatric patients, as well as the neurobiology and genetics of psychiatric disorders. Several excellent color illustrations pertaining to neurobiology appear in this edition, an improvement on the last edition. Part II, in its many chapters, discusses the various disorders seen in psychiatry, divided in their traditional way (e.g. mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and so forth). Part III discusses special topics in psychiatry, such as child psychiatry, legal aspects of the field, and electroconvulsive therapy. Numerous tables and graphs are scattered throughout. Self-assessment questions are found at the end of each chapter. An excellent glossary is at the end of the book, along with a thorough reference list and a helpful index.
Assessment: As one who uses this textbook in teaching medical students, I was eagerly awaiting this new edition. I was not disappointed. The authors once again provide an excellent introductory textbook to this field, and have improved upon their last edition with the inclusion of several color illustrations and self-assessment questions. The book is well organized, easy to read, and written at an appropriate level. It no doubt will continue as an example of one of the best of its kind available to medical students.