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From The CriticsReviewer: Valerie E Mathis-Allen, MD (Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services)
Description: This is an update of a concise, practical, easy-to-understand summary of psychiatry. Each topic is covered in no more than two or three pages with colorful illustrations and charts. The previous edition was published in 2008.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a concise summary of key practical information about the practice of psychiatry with updates and a self-assessment component to meet the changing needs of students and practitioners preparing for exams. The objectives are worthy and the book is needed.
Audience: The audience includes medical students, psychiatrists, and GPs in training and other mental health professionals (as well as their trainers). It is appropriate for anyone interested in a quick, easy-to-read, practical guide to psychiatry.
Features: The book covers the usual topics in psychiatry, but what distinguishes it from others is how each topic is clearly and succinctly described in an easy-to-follow format. The book also covers topics that are not often well understood or discussed, such as unusual psychiatric syndromes and psychiatry and social exclusion of homeless people, refugees, and prisoners. The visually stimulating and colorful illustrations, charts, diagrams, and algorithms are unique and helpful. The information is clearly and predictably arranged on two opposing pages, allowing readers to quickly obtain the information at a glance. The topics are pertinent and interesting, and the book can be read in a day. A chapter at the end of the book prepares readers for objective, structured clinical examinations. Extended matching questions allow readers to test their ability to distinguish differences between psychiatric symptoms, diagnoses, and classifications. The only mistake I found was in chapter 35, fig. 35.1, most probably a typo, under antidepressant that should read selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Assessment: This is a high quality, useful book. This update is justified, as the authors discuss anticipated changes with the DSM-V and ICD-11 diagnostic systems.