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A Synopsis of Contemporary Psychiatry, ed 5.

Daniel H. Labby, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1974;133(1):161-162. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320130163030.
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This popular synoptic treatment of core information and thinking in psychiatry is now offered in its fifth edition, updated only three years after the last revision. I found it well organized, clearly written, full of basic information, and more; obviously the thoughtful product of an experienced teacher and clinician.

The author's purpose is presented in his Preface: "There is need for a brief eclectic textbook to present the facts about mental illness simply and to serve as an introduction to this complex field for the beginning medical student, nurse, or mental health worker." The result is a workman-like product with a detectable biological point of view in its psychiatric orientation, reinforced on the first page of the Introduction: "The actual number of factually supportable observations in the field of psychiatry are readily encompassed between the covers of this small volume." The author then offers a pragmatic approach that will appeal


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