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WAO Medical Book Review

Posted: July 2012

Rudolph's Pediatrics (22nd Edition)
Edited by: Colin D. Rudolph, Abraham M. Rudolph, George Lister, Lewis R. First, Anne A. Gershon
2011 McGraw-Hill Professional
ISBN: 978-0-07-1497237

List Price: $166.00 USD
Available at: McGraw-Hill Medical

Nicole M. Chase, MD
Department of Pediatrics
Medical College of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA

In its 22nd edition, Rudolph's Pediatrics (endearingly referred to by many simply as "Rudolph's") remains one of the most widely recognized and well-regarded textbooks of Pediatric medicine. Published in 2011, this edition's formidable (almost 2500 pages) single-volume text is truly a wealth of current information. In an attempt to provide further valuable information, while sparing a major increase in size, this is the first edition to include a supplemental DVD of additional tables and figures.

This text serves as a comprehensive source of evidence for all topics of Pediatric medicine. Notable updates from the previous edition include an expanded table of contents, with subheadings for easy accessibility, and new sections related to the "art" of Pediatric medicine, including health promotion, motivational interviewing, and interpersonal communication. In addition, all tables and figures (including those in the supplemental DVD) have received improvements in color and graphics since the last edition.

Rudolph's Pediatrics is most applicable for use as a primary source for the practicing clinician, for review of topics unfamiliarly encountered, or as a learning tool for trainees, to build the foundations of their knowledge. While the size and depth of information generally makes it prohibitive for use in the acute setting, the tables and figures peppered throughout each section of the text are laden with quick-reference information. These supplements could easily be utilized at a moment's notice for clinical care, as well as teaching; they include radiographic and clinical images, diagnostic and management algorithms, and physiologic diagrams.

The text is divided into 30 color-coded sections, which gradually progress from care of the healthy child (eg, health maintenance, preventative medicine) to specific conditions categorized by patient age (eg, neonatalology, adolescent medicine), disease acuity (eg, emergency medicine, chronic conditions), pathogenesis (eg, infectious disease, neoplastic disease), and organ system (eg, endocrinology, rheumatology). The sections are further subdivided into as many as 10 parts, and each part contains as many as 47 chapters (as in the Infectious Diseases chapter, Part 5: Bacterial Infections).

Each section generally begins with a chapter on the principles or approach to patients in the subspecialty, and follows with additional chapters detailing additional relevant topics. As mentioned, all tables and figures have been updated and generously accompany the book's chapters. The index is thorough and detailed, representing the final 158 pages of the text.

The only downside of the text is that, at almost 3 inches high, the pages are quite thin. Despite this, the binding is sturdy, and a plastic pocket adherent to the back cover ensures that the DVD will always have a place for safe–keeping.

Rudolph's Pediatrics, 22nd edition, is a must-have reference for all clinicians engaged in the care of pediatric patients. The increasingly vast amount of pediatric medical knowledge is presented in an accessible format, and serves as a modern primer for clinicians in all stages of training and practice.