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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christina Rose, PharmD (Temple University Hospital)
Description: This collection of 150 cases complements the seventh edition of DiPiro et al.'s Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach (McGraw-Hill, 2008). The previous edition was published in 2005.
Purpose: The casebook is designed to encourage active learning and help students develop the skills they need to identify and solve drug-related problems. The cases range from uncomplicated to complicated, requiring students to look beyond the pharmacotherapy text for solutions. The book can serve as a good tool in or out of the classroom for students to generate discussion.
Audience: The editors and authors are experts and are able to present real-life cases with discussion points and questions. The book is targeted primarily to students, residents, and practicing clinicians can use the more difficult cases. It also serves as a useful tool for pharmacy educators.
Features: The first five introductory chapters include discussions of how to approach the cases in the book and create a patient care plan, the importance of communication, and methods of active learning. The active learning chapter is particularly useful for clinical educators and gives great ideas on how to incorporate the material in the casebook with active learning strategies in the classroom. After each case, the questions are divided into multiple sections which outline all the steps involved in developing a complete pharmacotherapy plan. The appendixes serve as a useful source for medical abbreviations, lab values, and conversions for units. The editors stress that there can be many different answers to the cases and the goal of the book is to help develop the skills needed to solve drug therapy problems. The majority of pharmacy educators should agree with this philosophy. If this book is not used by pharmacy instructors, and their students are not using it to generate questions, the lack of answers may be frustrating for some students. The authors have done a good job of outlining the objectives and reasons for the lack of answers to the cases.
Assessment: The cases in this book should be used in class to complement the lecture material or used as homework assignments. Another pharmacotherapy textbook, Applied Therapeutics: The Clinical Use of Drugs, 9th edition, Koda-Kimble et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009), incorporates cases into the disease-state chapters, which does help enhance the material. With this casebook, it may be helpful to either incorporate the cases into the DiPiro textbook or automatically include the casebook with every order for the textbook. This casebook can be a very useful tool to enhance the pharmacotherapy material, but if it is not used consistently, it can be confusing to learners.