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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tariq M. Malik, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This compilation of practical information needed for daily practice in a chronic pain clinic, presented primarily in tabulated or bullet format, covers most aspects of pain management from evaluation to treatment.
Purpose: It is intended as a quick synopsis of clinical practice in a pain clinic. Its small size makes it a handy reference for everyday use.
Audience: The book is appropriate for residents rotating through a pain clinic as well as pain fellows starting their fellowship. However, I am not sure how helpful pain specialists will find it, as claimed by the authors in the preface.
Features: Divided into six sections, the book covers topics such as chronic pain patient evaluation, pharmacology of opioids and other commonly used drugs, a short review of chronic pain conditions, pain procedure documentation, and a host of miscellaneous practical tips. The book is short on words but big on information, providing it in a visually simple format. It is full of practical recommendations for opioid weaning, switching drugs, treating opioid withdrawal, drug-drug interactions, opioid screening tools, and an excellent one-page review of drug testing. It explains things as simple and practical as script writing for controlled substances. Towards the end, it provides the ACGME pain fellowship core curriculum and a list of suggested readings for in-depth learning. Despite its abridged format, the book manages to tackle the relevant topics in pain medicine. However, it is missing information on ultrasound-guided blocks.
Assessment: This is an excellent, short introductory handbook of pain management for trainees at any level. It includes the practical information that would otherwise stump trainees and would be hard to find in the pain textbooks. It is truly a pain clinic manual, since it covers nearly everything a physician does on a daily basis in a clinic, including documentation, billing, and operating room procedures.