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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David G. Bragg, MD (University of Utah School of Medicine)
Description: This handbook is intended to serve as a clinical guide to the image decision process for clinicians, to help in choosing the most appropriate, cost-effective workup for the patient.
Purpose: The handbook takes 10 anatomic sites and assigns each to a prominent senior radiology author. Each section is preceded by a common outline, beginning with signs and symptoms, the major ones a patient might present with, and listing the major clinical disorders by diagnostic category. The purpose is to briefly outline the recommended imaging workup from simple to complex and expensive imaging studies to narrow the differential clinical diagnosis and exclude or confirm a specific disorder.
Audience: The targeted audience is the practicing clinician and primary care physician resident-in-training. The handbook format is intended to serve as a pocket reference to enable the user to obtain the appropriate symptom or disorder that enables the clinician to define the appropriate approach to the diagnostic imaging procedure.
Features: The book is a brief narrative review, without tables, illustrations or references. The major anatomic sites are shaded on the margins or the pages to allow easy access. The book is a paperback and sized to be pocket friendly.
Assessment: The concept of this handbook addresses a timely issue, developing a simple, cost-effective approach to the utilization of expensive imaging procedures. Unfortunately, the clinical usefulness of this text, I believe, will be limited. The approach to define major signs and symptoms, followed by specific disorders or diagnostic entities, the latter of which occupy the bulk of each section, is not the way the primary care physician will be clinically focused. It would seem to me that a more symptom directed, decision-tree approach would be more useful and clinically relevant. The authors all are senior, established experts in their areas; however, their names will not be recognizable to the primary care clinicians, limiting the diagnostic appeal of these radiology figureheads. Possibly, subsequent editions might allow a modified format to tailor the purpose of this book to the needs of the primary care clinician.