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Handbook of Medical Psychiatry

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    Handbook of Medical Psychiatry. david p moore and james w jefferson. (Pp 545). Published by Mosby, St Louis, Missouri, 1966. ISBN 0-8151-6484-X.

    The authors state that this book is intended as a comprehensive, thorough, and practical textbook of psychiatry presented firmly within the medical model. It certainly is all of these things. It is comprehensive, covering disorders which affect mental function from the cradle to the grave; it is thorough, producing a good amount of detail on each of the disorders, and practical, providing a brief but succinct treatment section for each disorder. The authors state that the book has its roots in the revolutionary changes that have occurred in psychiatry in the past 40 years highlighting the advances in psychopharmacology and the physiology of psychiatric and neurological conditions and that the book is designed to reflect this. It certainly does, having a very medical flavour, and in keeping with medical text books is liberally illustrated by photographs of clinical signs of various disorders and relevant neuroimaging. Its overall layout is designed to complement the organisation of the diagnostic and statistical manual. Each topic is on the whole only a page or two long, written very succinctly and often almost in note form. In this way they are able to include a good deal of information. It is extremely well laid out and very attractive to the eye with consistent organisation of each chapter throughout the text; tables are used where appropriate allowing for ease of access to the information.

    The last part of the book contains a section on psychopharmacology with chapters both on groups of psychotropic agents and also commonly used or new single agents.

    I enjoyed reading the book—it made me feel like a medical student again—where things can be easily compartmentalised, structured, and learnt and like all good text books, I found myself enjoying roaming around the chapters looking at unusual conditions not read about for a while! This book is a useful text for medical students and doctors training in psychiatry. It would also be an asset to those working in liaison psychiatry.

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