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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Thomas L. Pazdernik, PhD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This examination and board review book follows chapter-by-chapter the most widely used medical pharmacology textbook, Katzung's Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (McGraw-Hill, 2007).
Purpose: This book is designed to help students pass course and board certification examinations covering the content taught in a traditional pharmacology course.
Audience: This review is widely used by medical, pharmacy, nursing, and allied health students to facilitate their mastery of understanding drugs in preparation for course and board examinations. It is especially valuable for the USMLE Step 1 examination.
Features: Each chapter begins with a high-yield discussion of key concepts that underlie the basic principles of a drug group, accompanied by carefully designed explanatory figures and tables. Next, a "Drug Tree" organizes the group of drugs visually (I find this a valuable feature to facilitate student learning). Chapters have lists of "High-Yield Terms" followed by, in most chapters, a "Skill Keeper" question that prompts students to integrate material between chapters. Each chapter has a list of "Key Drugs" that the student should learn. A set of excellent study questions is followed by a set of answers with explanations. A "Checklist" of focused tasks that students should do after finishing the chapter follows each chapter. Appendix I has an alpha listing of all the key drugs accompanied by the most important information for students to learn about that drug. Finally, the book has two USMLE-style practice exams each containing 120 questions. Overall, there are over 1,000 USMLE-type questions in the book.
Assessment: This is one of the better board review books in pharmacology and it closely follows the most widely used textbook for teaching pharmacology. My only criticism is that not all questions are in the clinical vignette style and there are no explanations provided for the 240 questions that are presented in the two practice exams. This eighth edition is needed to keep pace with this rapidly growing discipline.