The Patient History: Evidence-Based Approach / Edition 2

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The definitive evidence-based introduction to patient history-taking


For medical students and other health professions students, an accurate differential diagnosis starts with The Patient History. The ideal companion to major textbooks on the physical examination, this trusted guide is widely acclaimed for its skill-building, and evidence based approach to the medical history.

Now in full color, The Patient History defines best practices for the patient interview, explaining how to effectively elicit information from the patient in order to generate an accurate differential diagnosis. The second edition features all-new chapters, case scenarios, and a wealth of diagnostic algorithms. Introductory chapters articulate the fundamental principles of medical interviewing. The book employs a rigorous evidenced-based approach, reviewing and highlighting relevant citations from the literature throughout each chapter.


  • NEW! Case scenarios introduce each chapter and place history-taking principles in clinical context
  • NEW! Self-assessment multiple choice Q&A conclude each chapter—an ideal review for students seeking to assess their retention of chapter material
  • NEW! Full-color presentation
  • Essential chapter on red eye, pruritus, and hair loss
  • Symptom-based chapters covering 59 common symptoms and clinical presentations
  • Diagnostic approach section after each chapter featuring color algorithms and several multiple-choice questions
  • Hundreds of practical, high-yield questions to guide the history, ranging from basic queries to those appropriate for more experienced clinicians
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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Vincent F Carr, DO, MSA, FACC, FACP (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences)
Description: This book focuses on teaching students and new clinicians how to hone their interviewing techniques and obtain a historical background for a patient's symptoms and complaints. It is an update of a 2005 book.
Purpose: The title explains the purpose well, i.e. how to integrate the current evidence into interview techniques to develop a reasonable differential diagnosis leading to the best choice of ancillary testing to come to a diagnosis. The time-honored questions and ways to develop a differential have not always stood up in light of the evidence. This book goes a long way in bringing the practice of medicine up to date, particularly with the vast choices of diagnostic modalities.
Audience: This is a tremendous help to new students and clinicians, but it is also a great resource for established clinicians to upgrade their practice. The authors and contributors are established academic practitioners who are leaders in their fields.
Features: The book is divided into traditional organ systems and symptoms. While it doesn't cover every symptom or complaint, the book remains focused on what can be viewed as worthwhile, based on the clinical research. Each chapter includes a scenario, a brief introduction, definitions of terms, focused questions, algorithms, and excellent photomicrographs.
Assessment: This is a superb book, well worth the cost to help young clinicians understand what the symptoms mean and where to proceed in developing a working differential diagnosis.

5 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071624947
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/20/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 738
  • Sales rank: 436,400
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Author Profiles

Mark Henderson MD

Director of the Residency Program

University of California-Davis School of Medicine

Gerald Smetana MD

Associate Professor of Medicine

Harvard Medical School

Lawrence Tierney, MD

Professor of Medicine

University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine

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Table of Contents

1 History : art and science 3
2 Subtleties of medical history taking 5
3 Patient-centered interviewing 9
4 Doctor-centered interviewing 17
5 The evidence-based approach to clinical decision making 29
6 Dizziness 37
7 Fatigue 47
8 Fever 55
9 Headache 65
10 Insomnia 77
11 Lymphadenopathy 87
12 Night sweats 97
13 Muscle weakness 107
14 Weight gain 117
15 Weight loss 127
16 Ear pain 137
17 Hearing loss 145
18 Tinnitus 157
19 Sore throat 165
20 Inflammatory dermatoses (rashes) 177
21 Cough 193
22 Dyspnea 201
23 Hemoptysis 211
24 Chest pain 219
25 Palpitations 231
26 Syncope 237
27 Edema 249
28 Abdominal pain 259
29 Constipation 271
30 Diarrhea 281
31 Dyspepsia 289
32 Dysphagia 299
33 Acute gastrointestinal bleeding 307
34 Jaundice 317
35 Nausea and vomiting 329
36 Anorectal pain 337
37 Dysuria 349
38 Hematuria 355
39 Flank pain 365
40 Erectile dysfunction 373
41 Urinary incontinence 379
42 Amenorrhea 393
43 Breast complaints 401
44 Pelvic pain 409
45 Vaginitis 417
46 Abnormal vaginal bleeding 425
47 Neck pain 435
48 Shoulder pain 445
49 Arm and hand pain 455
50 Low back pain 465
51 Buttock, hip, and thigh pain 473
52 Knee and calf pain 485
53 Ankle and foot pain 493
54 Confusion 503
55 Memory loss 511
56 Diplopia 523
57 Gait abnormalities 531
58 Tremor 537
59 Anxiety 549
60 Depressed mood 559
61 The case presentation 569
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