Reviewer: Marie A Dewitt, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This pocket-sized reference briefly covers the salient aspects of evaluating, diagnosing, and managing various medical, neurological, neuropsychiatric, and psychiatric conditions or situations that are frequently considered or observed in psychiatric patients.
Purpose: The authors sought to produce a quick reference handbook that encompassed the expanding scope of psychiatric care, thereby creating a resource to provide integrated medical and psychiatric care. While providing integrated medical and psychiatric care would likely require a voluminous text, the authors have created a handbook, the first of its kind in this field, to assist psychiatrists in evaluating and treating frequently seen nonpsychiatric symptoms in psychiatric patients.
Audience: Written by two residents, one a chief resident, at the University of California, Davis, this book is well suited for residents in psychiatry and will particularly aid those during their first two years of training when much time is spent in the inpatient units, although it certainly has features that may benefit those further in training and in the outpatient setting. Additionally, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses who specialize in mental health may find this a useful resource.
Features: The book is divided into four main sections common medical calls, emergent neurologic conditions, neuropsychiatry, and psychiatry followed by an appendix section and a helpful index. Each section includes multiple brief chapters (2-5 pages) that are summaries of information pertaining to the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of various complaints (e.g., abdominal pain, headache, dementia) or approaches to various clinical scenarios (e.g., evaluating for malingering, physical health monitoring, suicide assessment). Tables and charts are abundant and most information is presented in easy-to-use bullet point style. References are provided at the end of each chapter. Future editions may benefit from providing a few blank pages at the end for residents to add notes on institution-specific management of various conditions.
Assessment: This book is a one of a kind pocket-sized reference that addresses several of the various medical, neurological, and neuropsychiatric symptoms of psychiatric patients and covers some of the topics pertaining directly to psychiatric management. This is an extremely beneficial contribution to the limited number of psychiatric pocketbooks currently available and will fit nicely in a white coat pocket next the DSM and a pocket-sized psychopharmacology book.