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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Kristine Ziemba, MD, PhD (Mayo Clinic Arizona)
Description: This is a concise but useful handbook on the clinical approach to patients with neurologic complaints. Each chapter is dedicated to the workup of a different chief complaint, working from the patient's history to establishment of a diagnosis and a treatment approach in a stepwise manner.
Purpose: The purpose is to help beginning clinicians develop a methodical approach to the diagnosis and treatment of neurologic problems. Rather than organizing the chapters by specific disease processes, this book provides a step-by-step guide for working through each chief complaint, such as "confusion," "generalized weakness," or "dizziness." This is a useful approach for a book targeting developing physicians, and Dr. Tarulli has created a helpful tool, meeting his objectives.
Audience: It is intended for senior medical students or junior residents caring for patients with neurologic disorders. As an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School and associate residency program director at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Dr. Tarulli is a credible authority on pedagogy in clinical neurology and he has provided a useful guidebook for neurologists and internists early in their training.
Features: The book covers most neurological symptoms (chief complaints) that physicians might see in a neurology clinic or on an inpatient neurology service. The methodical clinical approach is unique, moving as it does from appropriate questions to ask while taking a history, to clinical pearls found during the exam, to honing in on a diagnosis with appropriate diagnostic tests, and, finally, to basic treatment strategies. There is little to no pathophysiology discussed in the book, and details of disease processes are limited, but that is in keeping with the goal of the book.
Assessment: This is a useful reference in neurology for senior medical students and junior residents. It provides a concise guide to a clinical approach without excessive detail, making it accessible and easy to carry while planning patient interactions and presentations for rounds.