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February 6, 1943

An Introduction to Materia Medica and Pharmacology

JAMA. 1943;121(6):470. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840060088031

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Since McGuigan rewrote the older Brodie textbook on materia medica in 1936, two more editions have been necessary. This attests the book's usefulness. The present edition is longer by 200 pages than the first, and to the reviewer, who has taught the subject for several years, this seems unfortunate. The book has become encyclopedic, which adds to its value as a work of reference but discourages the busy student nurse who wants, and should have, a concise, pertinent textbook. A single course involving both pharmacology and therapeutics, as in the usual materia medica for nurses, is difficult to present because of the two approaches necessary, that from drugs and that from diseases. McGuigan and Krug consider the subject from the pharmacologic point of view, which is definitely the superior in a book of this type.

There are certain attitudes in the book which, it may be hoped, will be rectified

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