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From The CriticsReviewer: Aaron Plattner, MD (Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services)
Description: This review contains over 800 multiple-choice or extended matching items in a format consistent with the USMLE exam on the various topics in the field of psychiatry.
Purpose: This 10th edition continues to prepare medical students for their psychiatry clerkship exam and USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge exam.
Audience: The target audience, medical students in their psychiatry clerkship and/or preparing for USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge exam, will benefit most from this book.
Features: The first six chapters consist of questions on child and adolescent psychiatry, adult psychopathology, somatic treatment and psychopharmacology, psychological treatment and management, legal and ethical issues in psychiatry and medicine, and differential diagnosis and management. The final two chapters each have a practice test of approximately 120 questions that simulate an actual board exam. The tests present all of the questions, followed by answers and explanations. The book concludes with a bibliography and an index.
Assessment: As a medical student, I used various question banks including PreTest and a previous version of this review as a supplement to my clerkship and preparation for the USMLE examination. The questions and explanations are written at the correct level with selected medical student input into the development of the questions. Benefits of this particular book are chapters that specifically target one area of psychiatry for readers who have identified a particular area of weakness, as well as chapters on an assortment of different topics that simulate the actual exam. The concise explanations about why an answer is correct and the others are incorrect are helpful, but it also would helpful to use mnemonics and graphics such as charts and graphs to boost comprehension. Another disadvantage of this book is the bibliography, which does not help readers by directing them to further information pertaining to a specific topic. This could be remedied by placing the specific reference at the end of an explanation. It also would be helpful if the final two questions had the same amount of questions as a psychiatric shelf exam so that students can take a timed exam, which would better prepare them for their clerkship exam.