Unfortunately, the previous reviews have failed to adequately address the role and purpose of this publication. Pocket Medicine, at least as I have used it, is the most concise and accurate reference for the practice of Internal Medicine in the United States as conducted at most teaching institutions today. It essentially covers all the major organ systems and disease processes as the most recent literature and textbooks recommend. Possession of this book will allow students, residents and staff to give patients the best care possible from evidence based medicine. You will shine on the wards and at morning report with this material. In fact, you could easily pass the Internal Medicine board certification exam if you knew everything in this book. For those practicing internal medicine from med students on up, it renders Scut Monkey, Ferre, Wash Manual, tarascon ICU books etc, all obsolete. Just look at the section about Swan Ganz monitoring -it’s all there. Look at microscopic polyangiitis- it’s all there. These are all real patients I’ve treated and this book works. More than half of the residents, students and staff in my hospital use it. Even surgeons own it. As medicine becomes more complex and scientifically based, publications such as this will be the only way to keep up. In fact, it’s very inexpensive for what you get. One caution is that it may be too advanced for 3rd year med students with a poor knowledge base. A wash manual may be a simpler way to start. Unfortunately, those people who gave it a poor review have simply demonstrated their complete ignorance of the modern scientific practice of medicine. I simply hope they never treat any of my relatives!
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As a former Mass General resident, I got a kick out of seeing our humble housestaff manual transformed into a glamorous pocket notebook. And apparently a somewhat controversial transformation, given some of the extremely negative reviews that have been posted. Ignoring the commercial aspects of this debate for a moment, I think the manual contains solid and comprehensive information that should serve any housestaff well (it certainly did for me for 3 years!). It probably does not contain enough explanation for most 3rd and 4th year medical students and, as such, should be used to supplement another manual (such as Washington or Ferri).
I’ve used this book for three years and it is by far the best handbook. It provides a quick prep for attending rounds and morning report. I also have used it in preparation for the in service exam given each year. While obviously not an all encompassing text (and not intended to be) it is surprisingly complete. A good deal of information covered on the ABIM exam is actually in this book. My only gripe is the text – too small. Every IM intern and resident should carry this book and learn it in and out. Worth the 37 bucks.