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Medical handbooks fall midway in the publishing spectrum between a textbook and an atlas. Handbooks, like guidebooks to a foreign city, are designed for quick and easy retrieval of information. They are suited for ''real time'' clinical situations when a busy practitioner or resident needs to access information while the patient is waiting in the examination room or office. Atlases can also be used for quick reference but typically do not possess the textual content provided in a handbook. Therefore, handbooks must pass the busy practitioner's 1-minute access time to knowledge while providing concise and useful information.
The Handbook of Genetic Skin Disorders is one such handbook. Chapters are well organized by a combination of morphologic and pathophysiologic headings. Each chapter begins with a defining summary of the chapter contents, and many of the chapters have tables that summarize the diagnoses by inheritance and clinical features. Diagnoses are consistently outlined
Papier A. Handbook of Genetic Skin Disorders. Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(7):861-862. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690190117036