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From The CriticsReviewer: Carl Martin Lindquist, D.O. (Malcolm Grow Medical Center)
Description: Now in its 32nd edition, this pocket-sized reference of inpatient internal medicine has been updated to keep current with advances made in medical practice since the previous edition, published in 2004.
Purpose: According to its editors, the purpose is to provide information on a broad range of common diseases encompassing etiology, clinical presentation, laboratory evaluation, and differential diagnosis while maintaining a focus on therapy. It includes essential pathophysiology while emphasizing emergency therapies vital to the initial care of patients, stressing critical on-call, on-demand knowledge. Having an easy reference to call on when in need of information is certainly a worthwhile purpose and the manual succeeds well in this important niche.
Audience: The manual was initially written as an aid for medical students and residents working on inpatient medical services. It's equally useful for physician extenders, hospitalists or anyone providing inpatient medical care. The authors, composed of junior faculty and fellows from the Washington University Department of Medicine, are well suited to share their expertise.
Features: For those who are not already familiar with the manual, it covers the major subject areas of general internal medicine with a primary focus on inpatient care. It's divided by specialty area but also includes supportive care chapters dealing with subjects such as generic care issues, nutrition, safety and medical emergencies. Several useful appendixes provide information on immunizations, infection control, epidemiology, care of the pregnant patient, advanced cardiac life support, and laboratory reference values. The best feature of the manual is its ease of use. Information is easy to locate and a quick read can provide vital information in a minimal amount of time. Previous editions used an outlined essay format, but this edition has changed to a bulleted outline format, allowing for an even quicker review.
Assessment: Overall, the quality of this manual is excellent despite the rare failure of proofreading such as advising the use of Histoplasma antigen testing for diagnosis and monitoring of Coccididiodomycosis. And, despite this edition being some 100 pages longer than the previous edition, some useful appendixes, like drug dosing in renal failure, are no longer included. However, this new edition is a welcome update to the preeminent quick reference manual of inpatient medical care. I recommend it for students, residents, physician extenders, and even the busy hospitalist.