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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: James A. Stockman III, MD (American Board of Pediatrics)
Description: This is a multiauthored synopsis of pediatrics, unique in that each topic entry is allotted two printed pages. The material is presented in a telegraphic manner.
Purpose: The intent, as stated in the foreword, is to have this book serve as a five-minute consultation on specific diseases and conditions. Essential highlights are presented so that the work can be used as a quick reference source for core information. This is a useful goal for a busy practitioner, a goal readily accomplished by the authors.
Audience: The intended audience would appear to be students, residents, and practitioners, as well as nurses and others involved with the care of children. The chapter authors were carefully selected for their expertise.
Features: There are very few illustrations or tables in the main body of the text, although the concluding section of the book consists of pages of only tables that are extremely well done. The section on syndromes is concise and inclusive. The syndrome section liberally uses eponyms, a trend that most other texts have attempted to avoid in recent times. The table of contents and the index are exhaustive. The references following each subject entry are helpful, although many seem out of date. Altogether, the format is a most interesting one.
Assessment: The presentation of this work (two pages per entry/disease) is the.most interesting aspect of the book, but, at the same time, one of the most constraining. Obviously, it is a challenge for an author to take conditions of varying importance and complexity and fit all the appropriate materials into this common mold. The overall result is generally satisfactory, but there is an unevenness. Minor topics (such as altitude sickness) may fill two pages completely, yet relatively more important topics such as food allergy are prepared with much white space. As with many multiauthored texts, there is some variation in style, particularly with respect to the level of detailed information provided. Overall, this is a quite valuable text that many, particularly those in practice, will find most useful.