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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Patricia Wong, MD (Stanford University Medical Center)
Description: Brief discussions of medical illnesses are the focus of this book. Therapy is briefly mentioned and, depending on the disease entity, the pathophysiology may be lengthy or absent. Questions are included at the end of the chapters and answers are provided. Using the questions to elaborate on the clinical diagnosis and or presentation would have been welcome. The previous edition was published in 1998.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide medical students and residents with an entry level text to begin approaching and synthesizing the enormity of medical information one must know to practice medicine. One would still need to supplement the information with a major medical textbook such as Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 21st edition (W.B. Saunders, 2000), or Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 15th edition (McGraw-Hill, 2001), and purchase The Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics, 30th edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001).
Audience: The audience is medical students and residents. I think it would be more useful to medical students. The questions test basic knowledge and a CD-ROM with over 500 questions and answers accompanies the book.
Features: The interactive design of the CD-ROM is very useful for reinforcing and learning the material. It is easy to use. The strength of the book is its conciseness. Some of the discussions are too brief and others are extremely in-depth, such as the one on the mechanisms of diarrhea.
Assessment: For the price, I think the book would be helpful for medical students who are just getting their feet wet. It would make the infinite amount of information to learn appear less formidable. There are comparable books on the market, but this one is unique in having the exam format.