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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Charles Kantrow, MD (Ochsner Clinic Foundation)
Description: This book provides case descriptions of unusual diseases presenting with common complaints. The book is divided into sections by the chief complaint of the patient and then several unique cases in which these complaints are presented. A description of the differential diagnosis and the disease process is provided as well.
Purpose: It is written to provide senior residents and staff examples of difficult cases presenting with common complaints in an effort to expand the knowledge base and improve the approach of caregivers. This is a natural evolution of the practice of medicine from basic training into a "masters" approach to the care of patients. The ability to develop diagnostic skills is enhanced by cases seen and discussed. This book meets the author's objectives.
Audience: The book is intended for senior residents as well as young staff still learning to develop a more comprehensive approach to diagnosis and care of the patient.
Features: Twenty common chief complaints are presented. Each complaint is reviewed with a comment and chart about taking a history and potential causes of such complaints. The chapter then provides several unusual complete case histories with discussion of the differential diagnosis and the ultimate diagnosis. The book does an excellent job of providing basic background along with each case which can be worked through before the denouement is provided. The diagnostic table that starts each chapter is complete and divided based on age of presentation of the complaint. The photographic quality is average, but helpful, as are the x-rays. The additional listing of contents by diagnosis is helpful for reviewing specific disease presentations and discussions.
Assessment: This book is enjoyable as well as informative and well designed. I have always enjoyed clinical case discussions and this book does an excellent job with this approach. Perhaps it could serve as a model for other books with a similar orientation.