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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Birgit Khandalavala, MD (Creighton University Medical Center)
Description: The 2010 edition of this practical and reputed five-minute clinical consult is a tremendous addition to the clinical references required in practice where time and accuracy are of utmost importance. The concise bulleted lists hit the target with a brief but comprehensive review of 700 conditions, arranged in alphabetical order of diagnosis, as opposed to a systematic approach, for accessibility and speed. A preface of algorithms begins the book, which continues with a detailed explanation of basics, diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care sections, and concludes with references, additional reading options, handy ICD codes, and clinical pearls.
Purpose: The purpose clearly is to provide a practical and relevant clinical reference guide that can be used in a busy clinic with an emphasis on speed and accuracy. The evidence-based highlights contribute to the worthy objective of seamlessly integrating essential data into clinical practice. The addition of an online component is essential in today's practice and a welcome improvement in the quest to keep medical information current and relevant. The objectives of the authors to maintain this best-selling clinical reference at the forefront of innovation and accessibility is clearly achieved.
Audience: This is a handy clinical guide for early learners in medicine as well as experienced clinicians looking seeking up-to-date information at the point of care. The information would be useful for any clinician involved in the spectrum of general practice and primary care, incorporating all the life stages. Older editions have been used for decades in teaching clinics, including at our facility, and this edition with enhanced online access on hand-held devices stretches the boundaries further. The authors have done an excellent job of adding the evidence-based aspects.
Features: The initial part of the book is dedicated to the quick reference of common conditions designated by their signs and symptoms, followed by a bulleted brief discussion of each disease topic in easy-to-follow sections. The conditions include pediatric and adult cases in alphabetical order, rather than in a sequence of age or systems as is more common. What the authors have achieved is the creation of a rapid-access guide that mimics the conditions seen in clinical practice, at a glance with the algorithms and in more practical and useful detail in the individual diagnosis components. It does not provide more than the basic, relevant information — further references are usually required for more details and management options. The book itself is heavy and more suited to a desktop, so the addition of online access provides portability and ease of use. While the book covers 700 medical conditions, the online edition covers 900.
Assessment: This has been the go-to reference for our busy teaching rounds in family medicine for many years, and the 2010 edition with its online access and enhanced features propels it into the patient room and to the bedside. In contrast to textbooks such as Harrison's Principals of Internal Medicine 17th edition, Fauci et al. (McGraw Hill, 2009), and Cecil Textbook of Medicine 23rd edition, Goldman and Ausiello (Elsevier, 2008), this guide combines a clinically-oriented approach with rapid accessibility for those times when clinicians require the most relevant information with handy ICD codes and clinical pearls without an exhaustive review. The online edition, abbreviated for clinical use with easy to follow algorithms, compares well with www.UpToDate.com. With the constant change in medical knowledge, a book that is updated yearly is a clear winner and the online version provides a conduit for further enhancements.