November 12, 1997

An Atlas of Dermatology

Author Affiliations

Tulane University School of Medicine New Orleans, La


by Lionel Fry (Encyclopedia of Visual Medicine Series), 212 pp, with illus, $98, ISBN 1-85070-461-9, London, England, Parthenon Publishing, 1997. Clinical Dermatology, by Rona MacKie, 4th ed, 324 pp, with illus, paper, $35, ISBN 0-19-262761-9, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 1996.

JAMA. 1997;278(18):1542. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550180096052

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The all new Atlas of Dermatology is really a fourth edition of Dr Fry's original Dermatology: An Illustrated Guide, completely revised and updated. The original concept of basing the text on the illustrations continues with this book. Since it is intended for medical students, primary care physicians, and emergency physicians, the emphasis is on diagnosis. It is well known among dermatologists that those who are not highly trained in this specialty often misdiagnose skin conditions. With the wrong diagnosis it is impossible to choose the proper treatment. The place of a text like this is to allow those with minimal training in dermatology to have a pictorial reference to turn to, to validate their diagnoses or at least to give them some-where to begin.

The book commences with a nice section on history and examination. This, of course, is the sine qua non of diagnosis in any medical specialty.