"Just the facts, ma'am." Those who remember the early days of television recall this often used line by Sgt. Joe Friday in the long running series, Dragnet. Fast-forward 50 years and facts are as accessible as the swiftness of one's "thumb typing abilities." However, another time-honored adage, "caveat emptor" ("let the buyer beware") reminds us that fast facts obtained between cases or patient visits from Internet search sites can both produce a morass of too many "hits" and run the risk of obtaining misinformation from an unreliable source.
While the world continues to transition from libraries with stacks of periodicals to virtual libraries, the contemporary professional will still benefit from a handy, concise, and authoritative compendium of essential information written by expert faculty who have thoroughly researched and distilled the topics to their key points of information.
Drs. Vadivelu, Urman, and Hines have provided the interested practitioner with an informative and diverse text on practice topics pertinent to the multidisciplinary specialty of pain medicine. This book should especially appeal to health-related professions, trainees, and faculty as well as pain fellows and practicing physicians who need a source with a high probability of quickly providing the needed information. A novel feature included in the book assists the reader's understanding of the material within a clinical context by providing short case scenarios.
Essentials of Pain Management is logically divided into nine parts of pertinent pain topics and even includes a section on "Non-pharmacologic Management of Pain." The appendix contains multiple choice questions that will assist students and residents in preparing for examinations.
The editors should be congratulated for assembling an enthusiastic group of pain specialist authors to produce this handy reference manual useful to providers at all levels of the analgesic care continuum. In my program, every resident carries a smart phone, but it is more common for me to see them reading a text for their didactic instruction.
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