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Book and Media Reviews
April 16, 2008

Geriatric Physical Diagnosis: A Guide to Observation and Assessment

JAMA. 2008;299(15):1838-1839. doi:10.1001/jama.299.15.1838

Geriatric Physical Diagnosis is a wonderful new resource offering practical guidance for physical diagnosis and clinical assessment. The text simply and persuasively illustrates the enormous usefulness of an excellently performed physical examination, focusing on timeless fundamentals while offering numerous examples vital to the comprehensive care of older adults.

In the foreword, Williams shares his childhood fascination with puzzles and the magazine Highlights for Children. As a geriatrician, he continues to be delighted by careful observation. He offers varied and numerous examples of how an astute clinician can gather essential data from simple matters such as clothing, self-care, and patterns of shoe wear. From the odor of one's breath to the stains on one's underwear, Williams finds important diagnostic clues that are frequently unrecognized or overlooked.