revised by Richard L. DeGowin, 6th ed, 1033 pp, with illus, $35, ISBN 0-07-016258-1, New York, NY, McGraw-Hill Publishing Co, 1994.
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DeGowin & DeGowin's Diagnostic Examination, sixth edition (formerly Bedside Diagnostic Examination) is an established, authoritative encyclopedia of physical diagnosis, now in the dawn of its third decade, with a new publisher, and once again an improvement over an already first-class book with an excellent track record.
The bulk of the text, part 1, consists of detailed clinical descriptions of basically every symptom or sign that a clinician in any specialty might encounter. Of course, all medical textbooks provide descriptions of symptoms and signs; however, none can rival the pragmatic conciseness of the presentation found here. In other sources, in order to determine the significance of a particular symptom or sign, the reader must first determine the disease to which the finding applies. With Diagnostic Examination, however, the reader looks up the finding and obtains an exhaustive listing of plausible etiologies. (There may be some gaps: reflex sympathetic dystrophy—a problem that
Stillman RM. DeGowin & DeGowin's Diagnostic Examination. JAMA. 1994;272(11):899. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520110087043