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96 of 99 people found the following review helpful
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.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2005
Very informative. Easy to read and understand. Almost every disease I looked up was listed, and gave an easy to understand description of the symptoms and treatments. This book is a nice accompaniment to the "AMA Complete Medical Encyclopedia". If I had to choose only one book, I would choose the "AMA Family Medical Guide".
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2006
My wife and I are both Registered Nurses and found this resource book to be very informative, up to date, well written and easy to read. This would be a great addition to any family, with kids or otherwise. We gave it to our daughter and liked it so well we got another one for us.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This latest edition of "The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide" has been thoroughly to keep it up-to-date and as one of the most authoritative and reliable family health reference. This edition opens with a full-color section on key health issues, followed by several new and expanded sections that covers almost everything you can need at home; from staying healthy and providing first aid and home care, to diagnosing symptoms and treating different diseases and disorders. Truly a most have for every family.

Among other things, you will find updated information on:

- Genetic testing, sexuality, learning disabilities, preventive health, infertility, pregnancy and childbirth, substance abuse, care-giving and first aid.

- New chapters on diet and health, exercise and fitness, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, complimentary and alternative medicine, staying safe and preventing violence, cosmetic surgery and preventive health care.

- Symptoms flowcharts and full-color spreads on important health topics.

A must have reference about self-prevention that shows how to diagnose your own health. This way, as an informed patient, and if the potential need for a physician's intervention arises, you can help him get the best and definitive diagnose.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2008
Very useful guide, almost all things you could think of are covered (a few are not though, i.e., I found one particular eye-related problem that although is mentioned somewhere in the book, is neither explained nor dealt with anywhere). As it is obvious given the time passed between the last two editions, the panel of doctors differs from the prior one, and some topics are treated differently as well, not necessarily due to the passage of time or technological advances, so I kept the former edition. I suggest you do the same if you have the older version.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2006
I have had an earlier version of this book for years and have referred to it time and again to look up information for myself, my friends, and my relatives. It has always been very helpful, informative, and always accurate... to date.

I highly recommend it and feel that the benefits will far exceed the cost of the book.

In one case, based on the charts at the front of the book and the symptoms section on the corresponding referral page, the book gave the correct diagnosis for my father's condition. His doctor had misstated diverticulitis when, in fact, my dad had appendicitus. Because of the misdiagnosis from the doctor, my dad got peritonitus but thankfully recuperated from his resulting extensive surgery and hospital stay.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2006
We had the first edition of this Medical Guide and used it for years as our family grew up. In many ways this 4th edition is similar, just updated for newer medical information and procedures.

If you need something to reach for, this is a good first step which can be follwed up by searching the Internet for more complete information. We particularly appreciate the diagnostic flow chart to help determine the problem.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2009
I have the first edition that I have used for years. It has been so helpful. I decided that I needed to get the most recent edition due to breakthroughs in Medical treatments and medications. I didn't have to think about who I trusted for this information. I looked for the American Medical Association Family Medical Guide latest edition and purchased it right away. Again, this guide has not failed me. More information and updated to fit my needs. I recommend getting this book for your family. Easy to read and broken into terms that even your youngest can understand. Symptom charts are easy to follow and helpful. Get this book, It may just save you life!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2008
My daughter pointed out that the previous edition of this book we were using was from 1994, so I agreed an upgrade was called for. I was thrilled to find it was still in print and in a much newer version, while still retaining features I liked-such as the diagnosis guide and the chapters focusing on various body systems. This book is a great family resource, and easier to cull for information than the internet.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2013
With the AMA as the source for the content I had confidence that the medical info was current and most reliable and I would give this book a 5 for content, also a 5 for the reasonable price. However I was disappointed that it had so few colored illustrations, was divided up into chapters devoted to disease categories or age of patient, was not "thumb indexed" to enable quick access alphabetically, and lastly I could not find a date for the most recent year this material had been updated.
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