- Series: Pocket Notebook
- Ring-bound: 280 pages
- Publisher: LWW; 4th edition (September 20, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1608319059
- ISBN-13: 978-1608319053
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 4.8 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 258 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Pocket Medicine: The Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook of Internal Medicine, 4th Edition (Pocket Notebook) 4th Edition
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To be fair, though, I'm doing a transitional year before ophthalmology, so... it's possible that an actual IM resident would get more out of it. Bottom line, though, YMMV.
Generally speaking, I was able to find the answer to most any question regarding diagnosis and treatment, and it was rare that my attendings would ask/lecture about something that wasn't at least covered.
- Size: It's really small, and just about the perfect size for a white coat. (Hauling textbooks around a hospital is the worst, because it a) begins to warp your spine until you look and feel like someone who once angered a voodoo priestess, b) you never have time to find what you need in that sea of text anyway, and c) it marks you even more clearly as a younger doctor who is mostly getting by on luck, good recall, and the kindness of nurses.)
- Covering the common stuff: one of the few truisms of medicine is that common things are common - and this book does a great job of covering the common stuff in detail. Referring to this book made me very comfortable that I was conforming to best standards of practice. And on a few occasions, it definitely helped me impress my residents and attendings as being very thorough - maybe even overly so. When you're starting out in medicine, this makes you appear kind of adorable (which I wasn't sure how I felt about) and attentive to detail (which is a really good quality for practitioners to have).
- Diagnostic criteria: The diseases don't read the books, and so of course, not all of these will apply. But overall, I found this book to be helpful in aiding diagnosis. Specifically, it would help me to limit my differential. Also - and I don't know if this was intended by the authors, or more just a side effect of the book's content and structure - I found myself weeding out more of the 'zebra' diagnoses. New doctors are especially prone to that sort of thing, and I felt like this book helped me to stay a little more grounded.
- Size: The text is proportional to the rest of the book - which is to say that it's really tiny, and parsing through all of those lines can get old pretty fast. It's much easier if you know the location of the info you want on the page... which, sadly, only comes from having hunted for it a few times. We read small text on our phones and so forth all the time, but when it's late into your call night, small text seems like an added cruelty.
- You actually do have to read it: this isn't a con, so much as a caveat which probably applies to all medical books. A lot of health professional students spend a lot of money on books and resources that eventually just get skimmed. You do have to read this book - at least the parts relevant to your rotation - for it to be useful. Speaking as someone who's done the same thing, we all need to remember that all of these resources aren't talismans. We have to do the mental leg work. And unfortunately, this isn't the most captivating of reads; be ready for a lot of dry, incomplete sentences, and loads of tables. The occasional graph seems downright opulent, after a little while.
Hope this review helped! (And good luck to my fellow students. We're getting there, I promise.)
This was also good for some pimping questions. Things like acid-base and electrolytes are kind of hard to remember, but this provides a really good step by step guide to evaluate those problems. Sometimes when the attending is distracted, I'll try to quickly look up info. It also has areas where you can write your own notes, which was really helpful when attendings give small talks about management. I can record some finer points of medical management and have it with me.
As for studying, this isn't a good resource for studying for the shelf. I would recommend Step Up To Medicine, and MSKAP as those provide better details for testing.
It proved though a valuable assistant when i didn't have have immediate access to Uptodate. It actually saved my day in some Program Director rounds when i sneaked behind another colleauge and found the right answer including the reference - guideline in this book...
It has a lot of evidence based diagnostic and treatment options including very frequently the specific reference - article -guideline which makes your life much easier - you go online and read it 3 hours later, when your patient is feeling better.
Of course my 2007 edition is not the most updated version but yearly updated versions come out and i think a 2009 edition is coming out soon
Its drawbacks include the fact that it does not cover rare diseases/cases you might encounter, and it is not the best of references if you need very specific info on subspecialty topics. For these cases you will need something like the Washington Manual Subspecialty series
It is better than the Washington Manual in that it can fit in your labcoat pocket, but it is including much less details and number of topics.
Overall it is a useful tool for residents/students in Medicine Wards for quick - NOT in depth reference