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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Daniel R. Bronfin, M.D.(Ochsner Clinic Foundation)
Description: This "summarized, reorganized and reformatted" version of Oski's Pediatrics: Principles and Practice, 3rd edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1999), is an introductory book designed to be less exhaustive then the standard texts, yet more comprehensive than popular handbooks. This second edition has been updated by new authors from Johns Hopkins; the first edition was published in 1997.
Purpose: The authors strive to create a resource for those "embarking in the field" of pediatrics with a focus on diagnostics and therapeutics. The book is useful in clinical settings for concise, well illustrated summaries of the most common problems that we confront; it is also valuable for students for directed reading on a particular organ system or specialty.
Audience: This book is primarily written for medical students and residents in pediatrics. It would be a useful resource for anyone involved in the care of children and adolescents.
Features: Little Oski's, as the authors fondly refer to this book, is organized into three major sections — Pediatric Skills, The Newborn, and General Pediatrics (i.e., everything else). I found the discussion of basic clinical skills (the history and physical) and the introduction to the field of pediatrics to be somewhat limited in scope and innovation. The remainder of the book is very well written and organized. There are excellent illustrations, color pictures, and a useful summary of common genetic syndromes at the conclusion of the book.
Assessment: This is similar to other condensed versions of major pediatric textbooks. The absence of references, the limited introductory discussion, and the focus on biologic principles rather than the "new morbidity" in pediatrics, which includes family dynamics, environmental issues, behavioral and psychosocial pediatrics, and child advocacy, is disappointing. Despite this, it remains a very useful book that would be a valuable asset to a pediatrician in training.