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April 9, 1997

The Little Black Book of Primary Care: Pearls and References

Author Affiliations

East Tennessee State University Bristol

JAMA. 1997;277(14):1171-1172. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540380085043

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This squat, oversized "pocket-book" is written as a "starter notebook" for students or residents in primary care, to be placed in a white coat pocket and "add[ed] to and modifi[ed]" by "noting new data... in the blank spaces or margins." Anyone who bought this book, however, would not only be totally confused, overinformed, and unable to extract information necessary to treat primary care patients, but would also get acute and chronic muscle strain from its pure weight. As well, there are no blank spaces or margins to write notes in.

Individuals buy pocket or spiral books for rapid access to important information that might be difficult to find or take time to extract from larger texts. For detailed information or an in-depth discussion about pathophysiological controversies, students and physicians seek large textbooks, libraries, and journal articles, not "pocket-brains." Students might keep a notebook with jottings about the drugs for a