by Richard Ashton and Barbara Leppard, 300 pp, with 300 illus, $49.95, Philadelphia, Pa, JB Lippincott, 1989.
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This book was written to "be of use to the primary care physician." The authors hope it will sit "on his desk and be used day by day." It is a compendium of excellent clinical photographs, diagnostic algorithms, and brief paragraphs. Dermatologists will want to know, first, if they should recommend it to their students and nondermatologic colleagues, and, second, if they can learn anything from it themselves. The answer to both questions is yes. Any book for beginners necessarily presents certain risks of oversimplification and omission, but this one does a very good job of addressing most of the common disorders, many of the serious ones, and some of the rare birds. But dermatologists need not fear that this book will deprive them of consultations or students, since, by their very nature, algorithms cannot substitute for firsthand experience, instruction, and judgment. For example, using the algorithm on page 156
Cropley TG, Bernhard JD. Differential Diagnosis in Dermatology. Arch Dermatol. 1991;127(5):749. doi:10.1001/archderm.1991.01680040161027