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From The CriticsReviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: This book reviews the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of patients with major psychiatric disorders, with an emphasis on the clinical aspect of the specialty.
Purpose: Meant as a basic introduction to the field of psychiatry for those new to the specialty, this book provides hints for the shelf examination, tips for working on the wards, and various clinical scenarios to illustrate important points.
Audience: Though the focus is on third-year medical students who are preparing or involved in their psychiatry clerkships, this book may prove useful for nursing students or psychologists interested in clinical presentations of pathology. The book is written by medical students with editing by faculty from various locations.
Features: Chapters are generally brief (fewer than 20 pages) and contain high-yield information categorized into the major psychiatric diagnoses. The chapters are filled with case examples, tables, diagrams, and charts, and most pages contain additional important facts in the margins identified by various icons, such as a stethoscope for clinical data, a notebook for examination tips, and a person to illustrate information in a case-based format. There is a section for individual notes at the end of each chapter as well.
Assessment: The medical students doing their psychiatry rotation at my institution have used previous editions of this book and have found it helpful not only for the shelf examination, but also for their experiences in the outpatient clinics and inpatient units. Though the format and appearance of the pages is quite busy and the presentation is abbreviated, the information is of a sufficient degree for those at this level of training. The main problems with this book are the lack of identified references for the information (especially in the event a reader wishes to get a more in-depth understanding of a concept) and the lack of a section explaining basic neuroimaging.