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Differential Diagnosis in Surgery
Mahmoud Sakr MD PhD FACS

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Edition 1/e
Publish Year2014
Size 4.75" X 7"
Cover TypePaper Back
With CD/DVD No
Weight (Grams) 580
Quick Overview
In clinical medicine, sins of omission are more common than sins of commission. It is the disorders one does not think of and the conditions one forgets that leads to misdiagnosis or no diagnosis. This book aims to help the medical student and clinician to be sure that he has considered all the disorders that might lie behind his patient’s particular symptoms or physical signs.
Key Features
This book comprises 15 chapters that consider the differential diagnosis of signs and symptoms related to surgery; namely, swellings, organomegaly, lymphadenopathy, ulcers, pain, dyspepsia, dysphagia, constipation, bleeding, urine retention, swollen limb, gangrene, testicular atrophy, impotence, and gynecomastia.

How to reach diagnosis using history taking, physical examination, and appropriate investigations, with the possible differential diagnosis in mind is clearly presented and illustrated in this book.

Bibliography is also provided for further reading.

Target Audience
Medical Student and Clinician.

Peter Nau, MD, MS (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)


For medical students new to the wards or junior surgical residents, this portable manual breaks down basic physical findings and develops a differential diagnosis with succinct descriptions of each pathology.


The book is an effort to combat the tendency for clinicians to rely heavily on laboratory and radiographic findings rather than the important diagnostic skills of performing a complete physical exam. The book identifies a generic physical finding, such as "swelling," and develops a differential diagnosis for this condition. In each case, the pathologies are then differentiated based on their disparate presentations. Given the increasing reliance upon imaging and laboratory analysis rather than putting hands on the patient, this is a timely book that is successful in its effort to highlight the importance of a complete physical exam.


While there are rare diseases and physical findings that even the most seasoned clinicians may not recall, there is no question that this book is intended as a resource for medical students or junior surgical residents.


Organized based on physical findings such as "swelling" or "jaundice," the book is successful in focusing less on an organ system approach or treatment and more on the characteristics that help differentiate various pathologies from one another. This is the strength of the book -- it teaches readers to develop a differential diagnosis and apply medical knowledge to help discern which disease best fits the physical findings. Excellent pictures and charts, when appropriate, assist in this effort. This manual is very faithful to its goal, and there are no real weaknesses or shortcomings.

However, readers should not open the book hoping for information on the treatment or expected outcomes of the variety of diseases discussed. This book helps to diagnose pathologies based on physical findings and it does this one thing well, but it offers little else to clinicians.


This unique book is an excellent resource for young doctors or medical students.

It is very complete in its content. While it may not be necessary to carry at all times, it is a nice reference to use with the complex patient whose presenting physical findings cannot be reconciled with a diagnosis.

Ratings:   Book Image   (3 Stars)
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