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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: William Miles, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is a condensed version of the two-volume Kaplan & Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 8th edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005). The previous edition was published in 2003.
Purpose: The book's purpose is to offer a condensed, more user-friendly version of the much more comprehensive two-volume textbook. This is a worthy objective, since the two-volume set can be quite cumbersome to use.
Audience: According to the authors, the book is targeted at psychiatrists, nonpsychiatric physicians, medical students, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, and other mental health professionals. However, the book might be too advanced and comprehensive for medical students.
Features: The book covers an exhaustive amount of material in 59 chapters and over 1,300 pages. Following the outline of the two-volume set, it begins with normal human development and ends with ethical issues in psychiatry. The book manages to cover practically everything related to psychiatry in the intervening chapters, and no subject pertaining to psychiatry is left out. This new edition is filled with black and white photographs, some color plates, and numerous tables. The chapter covering the human nervous system is particularly well done, but all the chapters are thorough and well constructed. An added feature is a color plate in the front illustrating the various psychotropic drugs. Buyers of the book can also access the entire text online, as well as board-style review questions (with answers) and an image bank.
Assessment: What an outstanding new edition this is! This is easily one of the best, if not the best psychiatric textbook around, perhaps even better than the two-volume set because of its ease of use. This new edition is welcome in our rapidly evolving field. No psychiatrist or mental health worker should be without a copy, since Kaplan & Sadock has long been the definitive reference in our field.