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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Melissa M. Ranieri, BS, PharmD (Temple University School of Pharmacy)
Description: This is the ninth edition of a collection of patient cases intended to complement Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach, 9th edition, DiPiro et al. (McGraw-Hill, 2014), a required text in many pharmacy schools. The 157 patient vignettes cover a wide array of disease states, all of which are designed to encourage critical thinking and clinical application of scientific learning.
Purpose: The main purpose is to help students learn the process of problem solving, rather than simply find the answer to the problem. Because there is often more than one way to approach a drug-related problem, the focus should be on the critical thinking process and the reasoning involved in developing pharmaceutical plans. In order to benefit from this active learning style, students should review the accompanying chapter in the textbook, as well as any other reference sources if needed. The goal is for students to be able to analyze the available facts in a case and to determine if further information is necessary. Students can then identify drug-related assessments and evaluate an optimal solution to the problem. When students develop these skills, they are able to adapt to the continually evolving literature, guidelines, and knowledge that defines the practice of pharmacy. The casebook is successfully designed to achieve these objectives. In fact, several introductory chapters outline how to approach patient case learning, including how to create a complete patient care plan.
Audience: Pharmacy students and other healthcare professional students can learn from working through these cases. Practicing clinicians can also expand their pharmacotherapy skills by assessing these cases. In fact, some institutions are currently using this casebook for purposes of staff development. Many of the almost 200 case authors are clinical specialists and experts in their field.
Features: A wide variety of disease states and drug-related issues are addressed in the cases. Learning objectives open each patient case, which provide guidance for a step-wise analysis. Since the cases are outlined a standard pharmacy care SOAP note, the format is already familiar to students and healthcare practitioners. The cases are concise and certainly provide the most essential information needed to accurately assess drug-related problems. Perhaps the most helpful feature is the selection of directed follow-up questions designed to help students correctly identify the problems in the case, think about outcome goals, and evaluate potential therapeutic plans. Although a problem key is not provided for each case, there are sample answers for some cases, which help to define expectations and provide an example of how to correctly approach the cases. Supplementary figures and tables are included for certain cases and an appendix highlights common laboratory values and medical abbreviations. Perhaps it would be helpful to have the answers to the cases available online for students to reference for learning purposes once they have completed a case.
Assessment: The process of learning how to resolve drug therapy problems, rather than finding the correct answer, can be developed by practicing these cases. Rather than memorizing facts, students can understand how to constructively approach problems, which is essential for healthcare providers today.