Reviewer: Patsy Lill, PhD (University of South Carolina School of Medicine)
Description: This updated edition of the 1997 version includes a brief discussion of strategies for board preparation, a list of recommended review books, with an index and list of abbreviations. Pathology is emphasized, with good coverage of microbiology, pharmacology, and biochemistry. Less time is spent on anatomy, physiology, and social sciences for reasons discussed by the author.
Purpose: This review book is designed to aid in preparation for the USMLE Step 1.
Audience: Medical students are the intended audience.
Features: The author presents the material in the form of charts in order to provide the maximum amount of material using the fewest words possible and to emphasize key associations. He admits that the material may at times be oversimplified and urges students to use textbooks and review books when they do not understand the condensed material in the book. He covers a great deal of material and users will probably like the simplified manner in which it is presented. The book is written at the appropriate level for the target audience.
Assessment: Many Step 1 review books fail to make needed associations between the basic sciences and the related clinical applications that are necessary to the successful completion of Step l; in this book the author does a really good job of that. However, the brevity of the material is sometimes excessive and could easily lead to student misunderstanding. For example, Berger's disease does not last only one or two days; the initial hematuria lasts only one or two days. Inaddition, there are a number of typographical errors. I would recommend this book for students who have a good understanding of the material and need a quick "brush-up" with the caveat that it is not a replacement for review books but an additional tool.