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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jay P. Goldsmith, MD (Tulane University School of Medicine)
Description: This is the second edition of a general pediatric textbook that approaches diagnosis and treatment of childhood diseases by symptom rather than disease entities. The first edition was published in 1996.
Purpose: This is a multiauthored text edited by three very well respected academic pediatricians. The goal is to put into writing the comprehensive discussions of rounds-based approaches to clinical problem-solving that are the mainstay of pediatric residency educational programs. The book is arranged in chapters to cover specific chief complaints (i.e. cough, failure to thrive, jaundice, hypotonia, etc.) rather than disease entities. The purpose is to create a differential diagnosis and discussion to guide clinicians in achieving the specific diagnosis and appropriate treatment. This objective is well met, although the discussions of therapy are less emphasized than the strategies concerning differential diagnosis.
Audience: The book is written for general pediatricians, residents, or academic pediatricians. Its plethora of charts are most helpful in creating differential diagnoses and often reminds the clinician of rare causes of common symptoms which present in children.
Features: The book is organized by system, but presents material by signs and symptoms. Therefore, the clinician can search under cough or earache in the respiratory section — or under diarrhea, jaundice, or constipation in the section on gastrointestinal disorders. Standard pediatric complaints are well covered in the infant, toddler, and child age groups. Less emphasis is placed on neonates and adolescents.
Assessment: Most medical textbooks are organized by diagnosis. In practice, clinicians are presented with signs and symptoms and must make diagnoses by analyzing this information in conjunction with history, examination, laboratory tests and imaging. By taking the symptom approach, this book is more practical, but less comprehensive than the standard pediatric texts (Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 17th Edition, Behrman et al. (Elsevier, 2004), Rudolph's Pediatrics, 21st Edition, Rudolph et al. (McGraw-Hill, 2003)), but it will be extremely valuable to practicing pediatricians.