Psychiatric Medicine: The Psychiatrist’s Guide to the Treatment of Common Medical Illnesses

January 1, 2009

Most, if not all, psychiatrists have cared for psychiatric patients with common but sometimes complex medical illnesses.

Psychiatric Medicine: The Psychiatrist’s Guide to the Treatment of Common Medical Illnesses

By: Mahendra J. Dave, Kurt P. Miceli, Poonam Modha; Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008 265 pages • $42.95 (softcover)

Most, if not all, psychiatrists have cared for psychiatric patients with common but sometimes complex medical illnesses. It is rare for patients-particularly those in inpatient psychiatric units-to present with psychiatric conditions without medical illnesses that also require treatment. At times, we are the only physicians available to manage such medical conditions. That is why Psychiatric Medicine, a concise yet practical and portable guide to the treatment of common medical illnesses in psychiatric patients, is an excellent source for psychiatry trainees and psychiatrists.

The first part covers routine laboratory tests for diagnosing and monitoring common medical illnesses. In 12 chapters, the authors provide basic information about different tests, their significance, the normal ranges for each test result, and common causes for abnormal result values. The tests include urinalysis, anticoagulation therapy monitoring, complete blood cell count, basic chemistry and thyroid panels, liver profile, and pulse oximetry, as well as tests for syphilis, myocardial infarction, diabetes mellitus, and anemia.

Part 2 focuses on common medical illnesses and their specific treatments. Each chapter describes a common medical condition, its etiology, epidemiology, risk factors, clinical presentation, and management in a concise and easy-to-read format with helpful psychiatric “pearls” and “pointers” where appropriate. This 59-chapter section covers medical illnesses from allergic rhinitis, aphthous ulcers, common cold, dyspepsia, and diarrhea and constipation, to anaphylaxis, angina, stroke, epilepsy and burns, metabolic abnormalities, infections, and skin, eye, ear, nose, and throat conditions, among others.

Part 3 includes 8 chapters that briefly describe important psychiat­ric syndromes and their treatment. These include syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, serotonin syndrome, noradrenergic ­­syndrome, SSRI withdrawal syndrome, heat stroke and exhaustion, and lithium-induced neurotoxic syndrome. Throughout the book, the authors provide clear tables as well as “Note” boxes that highlight key medical facts and “Remember” boxes that stress points of clinical significance.

Psychiatric Medicine ends with guidelines for monitoring psychiatric medications and an appendix with key medical abbreviations. A brief bibliography for each part and chapter and an index supplement this excellent work.

Intern, resident, fellow, and practicing psychiatrist: if you do not have a white coat to keep this excellent guide in its pocket, do keep it handy-you will use it.