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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: William Miles, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book, one of several in the National Medical Series for Independent Study, offers a thorough review of psychiatry. The previous edition was published in 2001.
Purpose: The purpose is to help medical students prepare for the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) psychiatry shelf exam as well as the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) Step 2.
Audience: Although the book is targeted at medical students studying for these tests, it is comprehensive enough that nonpsychiatric clinicians might find it a useful review.
Features: All of the 13 chapters use an outline format. The first chapter reviews the psychiatric clinical interview and the mental status exam. Subsequent chapters review the various categories of psychiatric disorders (e.g., mood disorders, psychotic disorders). At the end of each chapter, USMLE-style questions are found, complete with answers and explanations. An excellent drug appendix offers a good, basic review of psychotropic medications. A bibliography ends each chapter. There are no illustrations, but several tables are used.
Assessment: Overall, this is a straightforward, thorough review book for psychiatry. It is well organized, comprehensive, and easy to use. Its outline format will certainly appeal to some students, and the USMLE-style questions and answers should help them prepare for their licensing exams. This is a very good contribution to the field of review books for psychiatry.