Description: This handbook, a resource for medical student course directors and third-year medical students, is based on the General Pediatric Clerkship Curriculum developed by the Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics (COMSEP) which is used by the majority of medical schools in the United States.
Purpose: This handbook can be used in whole or in part for the junior medical student's block rotation on pediatrics which generally lasts eight weeks. It focuses on clinical skills, common symptoms, physical findings, and abnormal laboratory results and is not meant as a substitute for a general pediatrics textbook. The book is very well done for its purpose and will be extremely useful for those medical schools that need a structured guide for small group student sessions.
Audience: It is clearly written for junior medical students and their instructors. It is unlikely that residents or healthcare professionals more advanced in their training will find it useful.
Features: The initial section reviews the unique features of pediatric patients and their diseases, the interview, physical examination, and the assessment of development. Clinical cases accompany each chapter to stimulate self-directed learning. The book concludes with an excellent 100-question practice examination with answers and explanations.
Assessment: This is an excellent teaching tool that should not need frequent updating. I know of no similar publications except those designed by the faculty of individual institutions and these are rarely as organized as this one is. The shortcoming is its length. It is unlikely that more than half of these topics could be covered in the usual time allotted to pediatrics during the junior years of medical school and thus the instructor must choose which topics are most important to the curriculum.