Hong Kong J Psychiatry 2003;13(4):30-31

Book Review

Kaplan & Sadock’s Study Guide and Self-examination Review in Psychiatry: Seventh Edition

Editors: Sadock BJ, Sadock VA, Jones RM. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2003. US$54.95; pp528; ISBN 0-7817-3359-6

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This book is designed to complement the ninth edition of Kaplan and Sadock’s Synopsis of Psychiatry. There are 59 chapters covering the major topics and also more specific ones such as ‘palliative medicine and end-of-life care’. In each chapter there are helpful hints listing the key terms and definitions that are consistent with both the International Classification of Diseases, tenth edition, and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, followed by a list of multiple choice questions covering the diagnosis, differential diagnosis, treatment strategies, and other important topics related to that chapter. The explanations of these questions are very informative and comprehensive.

A new section of patients’ accounts has been added to this edition. Each case history includes questions and a discussion of the diagnosis, differential diagnosis, and treatment strategies. Many useful tables and figures help the reader throughout the book. For example, there are tables that list different kinds of defence mechanisms with detailed explanations.

This book could be used in conjunction with the classic textbook by the same authors or as a standalone review book. I found it very useful for preparing for the Member of the Royal College of Psychiatry (MRCPsych) examination, especially the multiple choice questions for both part I and part II. The coverage of topics is wide enough for comprehensive revision. I suggest studying the tables thoroughly because they condense a lot of important basic knowledge into salient points. The section on psychotherapy contains a lot of basic yet important concepts, which I think are particularly useful to local trainees. I would advise readers to attempt to answer the multiple choice questions, as they give a rough idea of the kind of questions encountered in professional examinations, and then look up the replies in the corresponding answer sections. Paying particular attention to the discussion of the wrong answers is a very efficient way to do a quick revision.

To conclude, I recommend this book to medical students and junior psychiatrists who are preparing for their professional examinations.

Dr Flora Mo
Medical Officer
New Territories East Cluster Hospitals
Hong Kong

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