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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Donald R. Frey, MD (Creighton University Medical Center)
Description: This is the sixth edition of a popular book on adult ambulatory medicine, described by some as the "Harrison's" of outpatient care. Boasting 1,700 pages and over 100 authors, the work is a thorough analysis of internal medicine as practiced in an office setting.
Purpose: The book is intended to be a guide for busy ambulatory primary care clinicians. As more and more healthcare moves to the ambulatory arena, books with emphasis on outpatient and continuous care are sorely needed. The comprehensive nature of this book clearly meets the need for such a reference, but may prove rather burdensome for the busy practitioner.
Audience: It is written for practicing physicians. However, learners at all levels will find the book authoritative and useful. The authors are all Johns Hopkins internists, but the book is handicapped by the total lack of input from academic family physicians.
Features: The book opens with a solid discussion on such issues as education, health promotion, and sexuality, then moves quickly into an organ-system approach in describing the evaluation and management of ambulatory care problems. The work is exhaustively referenced and replete with charts and diagrams, all displayed in a useful and timely fashion. Continuity could be more thoroughly addressed, however, and the complete absence of a family practitioner chapter author (the only specialty not represented in the list of authors) clearly limits the book's approach.
Assessment: This is an exhaustive, thorough description of internal medicine problems that present in an office setting. It can be used as an authoritative reference. Its size and complexity may limit its usefulness to the busy clinician.