Description: This small, paperback book is one of several in the Pretest Series of review books for medical students. The tenth edition was published in 2003.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide medical students and international medical graduates with a comprehensive and convenient instrument for self assessment and review of psychiatric medicine. These are certainly worthy objectives, and they are met.
Audience: According to the authors, the book is targeted at medical students and international medical graduates who are either on their core psychiatry clerkship or studying for the USMLE. First year psychiatry residents also would find this book useful as a way to review core concepts.
Features: Like all the Pretest Series books, this one is composed entirely of questions and answers divided into several sections, such as evaluation and assessment, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, mood disorders, and so on. Each section is composed of paragraph-style questions, with multiple-choice answers from which to choose. The correct answers are found at the end of each section. There is a full explanation of the correct answer, as well as why the other answers were incorrect. There are no illustrations or references, but there is an index.
Assessment: The Pretest Series is widely used in preparing medical students for the clerkship shelf exams and the USMLE, and this psychiatry edition is, overall, quite good. The content is thorough, the questions concise, and the answers explained well. For those students who prefer to study using question-and answer type review books, this should fulfill their needs. It is nice to see an updated edition of this ever popular review book.