Do I Need to See the Doctor? By Brian Murat, MD, Greg Stewart, MD, and John Rea, MD. Toronto: John Wiley & Sons, 2009. ISBN 978-0-470-15972-9. Paperback, 218 pages. $21.95.
Three physicians from Huntsville, Ontario (a family doctor, an internist/gastroenterologist, and an emergency medicine specialist) have combined forces to write a handbook encyclopedia of home treatments. Although I think it contains what might be more properly called practical advice than treatment, this book nonetheless seems to be a relatively complete, safe, and well-researched document for families. It is written in an algorithm-based format, separated into sections easily identified by colored page borders, and frequently illustrated with photos and tables. At first glance the pages are pretty busy, but the directives are clear, and signs and symptoms or particular problems that require care outside the home are clearly stated. The home suggestions themselves are for the most part pragmatic and straightforward—it is telling that this book is dedicated to the authors’ mothers.
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