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|Pediatrics for Medical Students, 2nd Edition||
|This is the 2nd Edition of this book, released
2003, by Drs Bernstein and Shelov which tries to make a case to become your primary Pediatrics text for both core clerkships and subIs. Also makes a good reference text for the USMLE exams, or shelf tests. The book is a hefty one, with over 600 pages, divided into 25 chapters. The chapters are logically broken down into 2 large subgroups: General Pediatric Practice, and Pediatric Subspecialties.
The General Practice section begins from birth, essentially the approach to the newborn infant, progresses thru health maintenance visits, adolescent medicine, then off to other general peds issues. Also, this book includes chapters on socioeconomics/culture, as well as ethical issues, and managed care issues. This is a welcome addition to any general medical text, in this era of more culturally sensitive medicine. I don't know how applicable these last few sections are to the USMLE or to the core clerkships, but they make for some interesting side reading. The managed care explanations of health care plans is particularly relevant in the managed care world of today‚s practice.
The subspecialty chapters are very well organized, and have a high level of detail. There is an abundance of information in various tables, diagrams and photos. For example in Cardiology they begin with Congenital Heart Disease and then explain pathophysiology, clinical history, physical exam findings, EKGs, murmurs, cardiac dysrythmias, etc. The other chapters include infectious diseases, neonatology, development, genetics, endocrine, GI, hematololgy, oncology, allergy/immunology,. Pulmonary, neurology, nephrology, rheumatology, dermatology, trauma, Peds ICU, pediatric surgery.
Overall, the level of detail in the text is very good. That is the greatest strength of the book, but at the same time, makes it a dense textbook to read. It is much easier to read than the NMS Pediatrics text, but probably a bit thick compared to Blueprints. Sometimes the level of detail is beyond even a 4th year medical student‚s need to know. Things like specific drug dosages probably could have been left out. These can always be looked up in a Pharmacopia or Harriet Lane. Most of the diagrams are well done, but it would have been nice to have more diagrams to break up the text. In addition some of the black and white photos appeared very grainy and difficult to interpret probably due to the resolution of the computer scanner images. There are some great pictures of pediatric ICU procedures, but it is unlikely that a medical student would get to attempt things such as a central line placement!
The book leaves no stone unturned in the specialty areas, and really does an excellent job of breaking down major pediatric problems. I would have appreciated having the chapter contents at a glance, so it would be easier to find information. The current layout is great for reading through, but if you wanted to quickly flip to a particular section of a say Pulmonary problem, it might take a few minutes. Especially valuable are the pediatrics pearls scattered throughout really help to tie in book smarts with clinical practice. For Example : In some cases of bacterial pneumonia, particularly of the Right lower lobe, significant intra-abdominal pathology such as acute appendicitis is often the initial presentation. These clinical pearls along with the numerous tables of differential diagnoses, and diagnostic evaluations were especially helpful. They also include a free CD Rom (Windows) that includes a number of questions in all the topic areas. You can take quizzes by chapter, or a mixed bag, where you can specify the number of questions you want to be asked. The explanations are generally good, for the answers, but sometimes without reading the answer carefully you have a hard time figuring out which of the multiple choice answers is correct. The CD Rom also includes a scoring system, that gives you a percentage correct as well as a way to review th questions you missed. It‚s a nice freebie, to get you prepped for your clerkship exams. The questions are well done, and at an appropriate level.
Overall, Pediatrics for Medical Students, 2nd edition makes a great addition to any medical student's shelf. It's not intended to be a pocket reference, or a Nelson's Pediatrics, and is probably just a bit more detailed than most students need. However, it is well written, and fits the student well. It is a much easier read than NMS Pediatrics, and is more detail oriented than Blueprints for Pediatrics. If you need something quick and easy to read, Blueprints is more than adequate for most, but if you need a more comprehensive text and are more deeply interested in Pediatrics, Pediatrics for Medical Students is definitely worth your time.
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