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June 27, 1986

Clinical Psychiatry

JAMA. 1986;255(24):3426. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370240096052

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Textbook of Psychiatry,  by Merrill T. Eaton, Jr, Margaret H. Peterson, and James A. Davis, ed 5 (Textbook Series), 450 pp, $29.95, New Hyde Park, NY, Medical Examination Publishing Co Inc, 1985.These two textbooks seek to serve the same audience: medical students who are taking an introductory course in psychiatry. They are almost identical in length and scope, but they differ significantly in tone, organization, and emphasis.Clinical Psychiatry boasts 24 contributors, and much of the variability among the 34 chapters must be attributed to the various personalities involved. Some chapters (such as the one on psychosomatic medicine) are weak in content and dated in reference material, while many others manage to combine brevity with authoritative coverage.The volume is organized around a course for second-year medical students at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, and reflects the priorities of that course. More than one fourth of the pages are