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From The CriticsReviewer: Joann Schaefer, MD(Creighton University Medical Center)
Description: This manual is designed as a quick pocket reference for anyone in primary care. It is divided systemically with additional topics in an outline form using algorithms where appropriate.
Purpose: As a quick reference manual in family practice, this book covers the wide scope of topics frequently encountered by family physicians. It provides in a simple format, up-to-date information with evidence-based material when necessary. Management strategies for complex problems are given in an easy to read and use format. These objectives are worthy, as it is increasingly difficult to keep up with all topics in primary care. The goals are met nicely by the author.
Audience: The author put together this manual with the busy clinician in mind. Answers to everyday questions that a clinician may need are easy to locate. In addition, the resident on call or the student on rounds will appreciate the quick reference and the attending will be pleased with the needed detail. Many attendings may find it helpful as well in remembering details that are not commonly used every day, such as mapping genetic pedigrees.
Features: A general review of all systems and their common related diseases account for a great number of the topics covered in this manual. Additional topics such as healthcare maintenance for each age group and the consideration of international travelers' healthcare needs are well covered. For any primary care providers, sections on common presenting problems are helpful to insure that all areas in a differential diagnosis list are addressed. Common office procedures such as joint injections are covered well, including nice pictures for needle placement. The table of contents is so complete that it assists readers in finding problems based on symptoms. In a standard glossary, finding a topic based on a symptom can sometimes be hard. More evidence-based reinforcements with simple statistics would also be nice, but it is understandable that it would add considerably to the length of the book.
Assessment: I find this book far more useful in primary care than The Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001). Other more cumbersome books are great on a shelf, but this one you can carry in a briefcase or pocket. It is reassuring to me that colleagues have written the chapters. New topics such as herbal medicine could not be more appropriate and timely. I see this manual being around for years with frequent updates to keep up with the changes in diagnostic tools and treatment of such common conditions.