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From The CriticsReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: This book, part of a series of reviews that presents information in a high-yield manner to facilitate learning, covers behavioral science.
Purpose: The main purpose is to cover a topic in a concise and memorable manner to help medical students prepare for the USMLE.
Audience: Medical students are the targeted audience. The authors are faculty at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.
Features: The first noticeable feature is the lack of lengthy paragraphs. Each chapter contains more of an outline with usually one sentence describing the phenomenon of interest. The summary tables are helpful for quickly capturing information and there are practical examples to help put contextual learning to the rote facts. Important terms are in bold type and easy to find. Nevertheless, because some pages look like seas of black, it seems to defeat the purpose of putting any words in bold. The book ends with practice questions and there are additional test questions and other resources available online. The index is comprehensive, but references are absent. Unfortunately, the authors not infrequently provide misleading or incorrect information. It is clear that some areas are outside their realm of expertise or their knowledge is not current in these areas (e.g., dementia, malingering, suicide risk factors, psychometrics, and biostatics).
Assessment: Whereas the purpose of this book is to be concise and high-yield, one would think the accuracy of the information would still be paramount. With the inclusion of information from outdated popular psychology, rather than research-based knowledge, this book could easily lead students astray. Better choices might include BRS Behavioral Science, 4th Edition, Fadem (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004) or Behavioral Sciences: PreTest Self-Assessment and Review, Ebert (McGraw-Hill, 2001).