Reviewed by Jim Young
Edited by: Keith Hopcroft and Vincent Forte
Published by Radcliffe Publishing
With this handy sized book in your hands it does feel like you are you are sitting across the desk from the patient or conducting the examination. The logical sequence is obviously based on experience and engenders confidence. The appropriateness of possible investigations is given perspective by the “Ready reckoner” of symptoms and probable diagnoses – all underpinned by the adroitness of immediate referral for “Red Flag” signs.
It is very useful to have the reassurance of a book that lists the “Common, Occasional and Rare” diagnoses associated with symptoms, along with an equally reassuring hierarchy of “Likely, Possible and Small Print” investigations appropriate to the clinical signs. All of which translates into an impartial evaluation of the patient divorced from any overlay arising from the patient’s anxieties whilst enfolding a sympathetic approach to those anxieties. The take away points are reassessment or occasionally immediate referral for “Red Flag” signs.
The book effuses with the pleasure and privilege of being presented by the signs and symptoms from the patient along with the opportunity to diagnose and treat. The book is not a listing of pathology preceding a retrograde consideration of signs and symptoms, but approaches the consultation intuitively with the presentation of signs and symptoms preceding evaluation and subsequent diagnosis and treatment. Refreshingly the symptoms are presented using patient colloquialisms and not medical terminology which more accurately replicates the experiences in the clinic.
The book oozes with patience for the patient and for the reader. What better prescription for the clinic could the practitioner need?
The 5th edition has been fully revised and greatly expanded and is recommended reading for GPs, GP trainers, nurse practitioners and A &E nurses.