Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Great Books to Read

Dear Bloggers

There are several books I wish to recommend to you that may be able to help you with history taking and physical examination.

One book is Cope's book on Early Diagnosis of the Acute Abdomen (21st edition), revised by William Silen and published by the Oxford University Press. This book deals with the basics of history taking for the acute abdomen and the features of abdominal pain. It is a mini-bible of the abdomen and concentrates on the traditional elements of history taking, physical examination and anatomical structures that can cause pain in the abdomen. It is not a large book, being less than 300 pages, but the English usage of words might prove somewhat difficult for the non-fluent Enlgish speaker. However, all is not lost because there is a Japanese version too!! I would strongly recommend all doctors, fresh out of medical school or seasoned ones too to have a look at this most excellent book even if it is to refresh the knowledge once known but long forgotten.

Another great book is called Physical Signs in General Medicine by Zatouroff and published by Mosby. This is packed full of pictures, over 800 in fact, with explanation of the various clinical diseases plus when they were first described and by whom ! Hence, this book not only teaches about physical signs but it also teaches you about the history of medicine! In fact, this book starts off teaching you what is normal for you to be able to understand what is abnormal. Some photos are very subtle and the problem is not immediately evident until the author refers you to the problem and it becomes clear. Some problems are rare and related to third world countries whereas there are variations of presentation of common problems too. Hence, this book deals with problems amongst various races e.g. caucasian, middle eastern and afro-carribean populations to avoid missing diagnoses. I would highly recommend this book. There are no CT or MRI pictures :-) but this book will be very helpful for teaching dermatology, neurology and especially general internal medicine.

Finally, when it comes to taking a History, the best book around is the book by Professor Tierney called The Patient History- Evidence Based Approach, published by McGraw Hill. This book covers in depth all the major symptoms of disease and the differential diagnoses to accompany them plus the list of Red Flag diagnoses to alert the doctor to excluding such serious pathologies. Again, I would highly recommend this book and at almost 600 pages, it is well worth the money.

All the above books can be obtained in large book stores or more conveniently through Amazon on-line.

Happy reading.