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Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide Hardcover – September, 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

These days, when you only get to see your physician for 10 minutes after waiting several weeks for an appointment, you're often forced to get your information somewhere else. Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide will do what your doctor can't: answer your questions for hours on end. This richly packed compendium offers more than a thousand pages of health information compiled from the expertise of 7,000 physicians and researchers. Whether you're figuring out what your symptoms might mean, researching a disease, looking up a medication, learning about a body part or function, or formulating questions to ask your doctor, you can find the medical knowledge here--and in simple, layperson's language.

You'll undoubtedly make the most use of the diagnosis section, in flow-chart form. You identify a symptom, then answer a series of "yes" or "no" questions--where the pain is located, when it occurs, what makes it worse, and other related symptoms, for example. Each answer leads you to another question and/or to an action you should take, with page numbers where you can find more information about the condition you may have. Very clear and well organized! The Color Guide to Visual Diagnosis lets you match your symptom with close-up color photos of various skin infections, cancerous growths, fungal infections, insect infestations, and other conditions. The book also has chapters on lifestyle changes that will enhance health, such as nutrition, exercise, smoking cessation, and safe sex. Added bonuses are sections on eldercare, death and dying, drug interactions, and emergency care. This book is a treasure and a bargain! --Joan Price

From Library Journal

The linking of a web site to the text of this exhaustive compendium of consumer health information assures readers that it will never go out of date. Though the publisher promises that the site will be free, it will only "make sense" when used in conjunction with the printed version. The topics covered are not substantially different from those found in any other quality consumer health encyclopedia (e.g., Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, LJ 12/90), but the format differs substantially, and the treatment of all topics is more in-depth. Divided into ten parts, the text begins with a discussion on how to navigate current healthcare systems; the major areas then covered include health maintenance, how diseases are diagnosed, symptom management illustrated by numerous decision trees, and diseases and disorders. There are also sections on the management of health problems specific to men and women, adolescents, children, and the aged, with a profusion of line drawings and exceptionally understandable explanations of the benefits and risks of a variety of treatments, both surgical and nonsurgical. "Home remedies" for a variety of ailments are included, as are current opinions from Harvard physicians. Appendixes consist of medical terminology, information resources (including web sites), and medical forms. This low-priced, content-heavy work is highly recommended for all public and consumer health libraries.
-AMartha Stone, Massachusetts General Hosp. Lib., Boston
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide
  • Hardcover: 1248 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1 edition (September 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684847035
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684847030
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 2.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This guide is the only general medical guide you will need for your family. It has great symptom charts, pictures, explanations, information, & instructions for thousands of situations. It is an emergency medical guide, a compilation of articles by medical experts, & an all-round great source of medical information. I love this book! We're buying more for presents.
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Format: Hardcover
A visit to the doctor always makes us very conscious of how much time is wasted. The time you take off from work, the time you spend in the waiting room the time you spend waiting for the doctor to come and actually talk to you for a few minutes. Then we find ourselves sudden incapable of describing accurately our aches and pains. This all happens after we finally decide to go see a doctor because we are not sure if we know enough to deal with the problem on our own. Calling your mother to find out what to do is not always an option. The "Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide" is a great help for dealing with health concerns in this Era of Managed Care. The volume deals with information about diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease in all stages of life. The information is presented in a very user-friendly manner, with over 900 illustrations, covering: (1) questions to discuss with your doctor; (2) first-aid and emergency advice; (3) symptom charts to determine if and when to call the doctor; (4) home remedies and alternative medicine; and (5) drug-interaction charts to prevent dangerous drug-drug, drug-food, and drug-herb interactions.
I have used this book to save myself from a trip to the doctor, to identify a rash on one of my children, and to better understand my father's hearing problems. This "Family Health Guide" has proven itself both useful and easy to use, and I am someone who never took even biology in school and who therefore finds medicine to be as mysterious as any other science. Every household should have this book, or something very much like it. One final advantage of this particular volume is that this "book" never goes out of date because you can get page and index searched for updated information on every entry from a website.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an incredible anthology of illnesses. When my mom was diagnosed with leukemia, I read the entire section on the subject. It helped me to understand the type of leukemia she had, what other forms were, what questions to ask her doctor, and what her likely prognosis would be. I discovered she had a 1:5 chance of survival, and I used that information to make my last days with her really count.

I also appreciate the guide to diagnosising your own illnesses. It helps to understand what different symptoms MIGHT mean, and what to ask your doctor.

I can't emphasize enough the value this volume has. Understanding illnesses your loved ones may be experiencing is invaluable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I wanted a reference guide for all of the health concerns I have and may have. Its incredibly thorough and its easy to use. The only criticism I have is that no matter what symptoms you have, the book's answer to everything is to see a doctor. It might be helpful for them to go more into detail on what you can do about something before you go in, or home remedies.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a comprehensive guide on the latest protocols in medicine

for a plethora of illnesses. Each section describes the applicable body system, diseases of the system, treatment options and alternative medicinal approaches to the conventional treatment options. This volume is perfect if you have an undiagnosed condition to research or you've been advised of a difficult illness to treat/manage. Extensive flowcharts depict

symptoms, required action and research options for getting more

information on the subject. Breathing systems and hormonal

mechanisms are charted in full color. The digestive system is set

forth in step-by-step detail- also in full color.

For a life-long condition like ankylosing spondylitis, the authors describe treatment with methotrexate or joint surgery

and rehabilitation. Infectious arthritis has a classical

bacterial component and inflammations of body systems.

Rehabilitation may focus on fixed joints, cartilaginous joints

or the synovial joints.

Urinary tract infections may be treated medicinally or with

cranberries in the case of cystitis. This volume is a goldmine

difficult to replicate. For this reason, the purchase is a worthy

one for your personal library.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am an herbalist who was in great need of a top notch medical reference book until I found this one - for me, this one purely does the job! This medical guide is straightforward with illustrations and any info needed is easy to find!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Still one of the best and most reliable family health references available, with high quality color anatomic and other illustrations, plus the popular 'symptom checker', just included in a new study by the BMJ. 1,200 pages of fundamentals on common diseases and conditions with solutions and explanations at a very readable level. Perfect for families and individuals who need quick answers to questions at all hours of the day and night when a physician may not be available. Indispensable home reference - better than the internet and from one of the leading medical schools in the world: credible and authoritative. Recommend without reservation.
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