PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF CLINICAL PEDIATRICS M.W Schwartz. E.B. Charney, TA. Curry et al (eds) Year Book Publishers, Chicago and London 1987, 889 pp.
This is a very comprehensive, didactic volume on primary care aimed at office-based physicians, nurses, and students. The book is a product of the combined talent of many past and present staff of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The principal editor, Dr. Schwartz, has done a remarkable job of producing a well organized, succinct, and coherent publication from so large a number of authors. He admits in the preface that the proximity of this local talent facilitated his task of securing their contributions in a timely manner. The organization of the subject matter is under seven sections: "well child care"; "assessing signs and symptoms"; "the ill or injured child"; "developmental disabilities"; "behavior problems"; "the primary care physician and the subspecialist" and "talking with parents." Each of these sections has a brief overview of its purpose and content and each chapter within the section is backed by a bibliography. There is an excellent index of 43 pages with topics cross-referenced to appropriate chapters.
The organization and treatment of subjects is reminiscent of the late, great Wilbur Davidson's Compleat Pediatrician. You may recall that this was a thin volume which was designed to aid the physician in a rapid process of differential diagnosis by keying the presenting symptom or sign to possible causes for the particular symptom or sign. Much of the material in Clinical Pediatrics is presented to aid the primary physician in differential diagnosis.
This volume contains a wealth of practical knowledge and experience concerning ambulatory pediatrics. It would serve well as an introduction to the subject for anyone involved in child health care.
One omission is the absence of any discussion of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. The words "auto immune disorders" are used in discussing the causes of "pallor" and in another chapter auto immune phenomenon is mentioned as being associated with liver disease but there appears to be no reference to the subject of AIDS.