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These days, when you only get to see your physician for 10 minutes after waiting several weeks for an appointment, you're often forced to get your information somewhere else. Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide will do what your doctor can't: answer your questions for hours on end. This richly packed compendium offers more than a thousand pages of health information compiled from the expertise of 7,000 physicians and researchers. Whether you're figuring out what your symptoms might mean, researching a disease, looking up a medication, learning about a body part or function, or formulating questions to ask your doctor, you can find the medical knowledge here--and in simple, layperson's language.
You'll undoubtedly make the most use of the diagnosis section, in flow-chart form. You identify a symptom, then answer a series of "yes" or "no" questions--where the pain is located, when it occurs, what makes it worse, and other related symptoms, for example. Each answer leads you to another question and/or to an action you should take, with page numbers where you can find more information about the condition you may have. Very clear and well organized! The Color Guide to Visual Diagnosis lets you match your symptom with close-up color photos of various skin infections, cancerous growths, fungal infections, insect infestations, and other conditions. The book also has chapters on lifestyle changes that will enhance health, such as nutrition, exercise, smoking cessation, and safe sex. Added bonuses are sections on eldercare, death and dying, drug interactions, and emergency care. This book is a treasure and a bargain! --Joan Price
The linking of a web site to the text of this exhaustive compendium of consumer health information assures readers that it will never go out of date. Though the publisher promises that the site will be free, it will only "make sense" when used in conjunction with the printed version. The topics covered are not substantially different from those found in any other quality consumer health encyclopedia (e.g., Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, LJ 12/90), but the format differs substantially, and the treatment of all topics is more in-depth. Divided into ten parts, the text begins with a discussion on how to navigate current healthcare systems; the major areas then covered include health maintenance, how diseases are diagnosed, symptom management illustrated by numerous decision trees, and diseases and disorders. There are also sections on the management of health problems specific to men and women, adolescents, children, and the aged, with a profusion of line drawings and exceptionally understandable explanations of the benefits and risks of a variety of treatments, both surgical and nonsurgical. "Home remedies" for a variety of ailments are included, as are current opinions from Harvard physicians. Appendixes consist of medical terminology, information resources (including web sites), and medical forms. This low-priced, content-heavy work is highly recommended for all public and consumer health libraries.
-AMartha Stone, Massachusetts General Hosp. Lib., Boston
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.