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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Kathleen M Woodruff, DNP (Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description: This evidence-based guide to the general physical examination of adult patients is designed to function as a supplemental text for students preparing for a clinical assessment examination.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide primary care providers with an evidence-based reference tool to assist with physical exams. Readers are expected to be fluent in anatomy, physiology, pathology, and therapeutics, and to have undertaken a course in clinical assessment skills. The book has a worthy objective, but it has not achieved it. It provides extensive checklists for each body system but lacks depth and explanation, which novice practitioners would need.
Audience: It is intended for primary care students, medical students, teachers of physical examination skills, and other qualified health professionals.
Features: The book is structured in a systematic and methodological manner, and is written to be easy to use in a clinical setting as a checklist in a tabular format. Interesting case studies with thought-provoking questions and answers are provided. Sections of reflections on practice add a very practical aspect. The book also includes excellent references and websites. The only shortcoming is the need for more in-depth information.
Assessment: This is an excellent checklist and rationale for procedures, but it fails to provide in written or diagram format any understanding of how to perform the procedure or physical exam skill. I understand that this is written as a supplemental text, but students and new practitioners often need to have a refresher on proper technique.