Most helpful positive review
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The best is even better
on September 30, 2004
It is no surprise that the latest edition of this excellent consumer reference is better than ever. For those who are newcomers to the power of this authoritative tome, its centerpiece is a series of symptom charts enabling users to conduct the equivalent of a differential self-diagnosis. Charts are available for the most common symptomologies--e.g. coughing, chest pain, abdominal pain, back pain. Through an interrogatory consisting of sequential questions which might be asked by a health professional presented with the symptoms in question, the charts guide the reader to action steps--ranging from reassurance and self-help options to advise to seek medical attention (urgently or in due course as the case may be).
By saving unnecessary visits to the doctor's office or emergency room (thus helping to control medical costs) or spurring the overly complacent to imperative action, the AMA does a great service to the public and the profession by publishing this reference at an extremely affordable price.
The bulk of the book consists of articles regarding various diseases and conditions encompassing symptomology, description diagnostic techniques (tests and such) likely to be employed, treatment options, and the range of expected prognoses--in a nutshell, what do I have, how will they find out, what will they do to treat me, and what's the outlook in terms of cure and survival.
A wealth of reliable, understandable information is readily accessible to the lay person and accompanied by helpful illustrations.
I have relied on this book for years to help me deal intelligently with health matters involving my friends, my family, and myself. I highly recommend it to anyone seeking to empower themselves to be a prudent steward of health and well being.
The update is most welcome, as the dynamic pace of medicine has yielded therapeutic innovations (in particular new pharmaceuticals) that provide much happier endings to many of the disease entries.