Hong Kong J Psychiatry. 2002;12(2):25


Foundations of Clinical Psychiatry, 2nd Edition

Editors: Bloch S, Singh BS.
Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2001.
US$ 65.95; pp608; ISBN 0-522-84924-5

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This textbook provides a comprehensive overview of all topics required for undergraduate teaching. Psychiatric trainees and general practitioners will also f ind this book useful because of its concise layout and abundance of tables, f igures and case examples.

The book consists of 4 sections. The f irst section is an introduction in which a general approach to psychiatry is outlined. Of particular interest, chapter 2 uses the case of Vincent van Gogh to illustrate a multidimensional approach to psychiatric problems, while chapter 3 employs several case examples to explain the ethical dimension of psychiat- ric practice.

The second part is a basic account of the clinical condi- tions which psychiatrists commonly treat. The material in this section is comprehensive, accurate, and easy to understand. The third part covers special patient groups and specific set- tings. Chapters on indigenous mental health and transcultural and refugee psychiatry are useful in view of today’s highly mobile societies. The last section focuses on general principles and details of treatment.

Because of the rapid advances in our knowledge of psychiatry, it is diff icult to keep any textbook updated unless frequent revisions are made. However, Foundations of Clinical Psychiatry may be the most suitable introductory text to clinical psychiatry for students of medicine and other health sciences.

Dr Ka-Fai Chung
Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry
The University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam Hong Kong China

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