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From The CriticsReviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, D.O., M.A. (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This is the second edition of a widely acclaimed comprehensive textbook of psychiatry. Surpassing the first edition, this majestic and authoritative update of the field is a testimony to the depth and breadth of psychiatry. Although huge textbooks such as this are throwbacks to the 20th century (now with electronic access to the world's libraries in the 21st century), this one should serve as a reference for all psychiatrists, setting out as it does the accumulated body of knowledge of the field as of 2009. Written and edited by internationally recognized clinician-researchers, this second edition is the best read and most informative of this genre.
Purpose: The purpose of the second edition is, according to the editors, "to present the state of psychiatry at the start of the millennium." The book is written for "psychiatrists engaged in continuous education and recertification" and "as a reference for psychiatrists at all levels of experience." Indeed, the editors and chapter authors have created an extremely useful second edition.
Audience: The intended audience, as the editors note, is psychiatrists. Psychiatrists in training, interested medical students, graduate psychology students, and others in allied fields would benefit from this book.
Features: Important chapters cover the patient perspective, ethics and values, descriptive phenomenology, classification, and assessment, written by influential thinkers in the field. The section on the scientific basis of psychiatric etiology includes chapters on the mind and brain, and neuroscientific, psychological, social, genetic, and epidemiological scientific contributions to the field. Psychodynamic contributions have a section as well. In-depth coverage of all the important clinical syndromes is provided. Volume 2 covers psychosomatic medicine, treatment methods, social psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, mental retardation, and forensic psychiatry. This is a very scholarly textbook with each chapter containing relevant, pertinent, and contemporary citations of the scientific literature. For the convenience of readers, both volumes replicate the table of contents and the index.
Assessment: This is a terrific second edition of an epic textbook of psychiatry. It is a pleasure to read and use as an authoritative reference source. It represents an outstanding effort.