Introductory Textbook of Psychiatry a short and sweet introduction to the practice of psychiatry. The book clearly targets medical students and psychiatrists although I used the 5th edition to review for my psychiatric nurse practitioner board exam. This book is simply written and can definitely be read cover to cover in a few sittings. This is not an extensive reference book, but more of a broad overview. The information provided about each disorder is similar but more succinct than what is provided in the actual DSM 5. I thought the material was presented in a somewhat dry, laconic manner, very much like the DSM. More importantly though, the text was a useful, compact text that can accompany a student during their clinical rotations.
The book is divided into three parts:
1. Background (15% of book)
2. Psychiatric Disorders (67%)
3. Special Topics (18%)
The background section includes a chapter on diagnosis and classification, interviewing and assessment, and the neurobiology of genetics of mental illness. The psychiatric disorders section follows the same structure and organization of the DSM 5. For each diagnosis, the authors discuss diagnostic criteria, epidemiology, etiology, course, clinical findings, differential diagnosis, and clinical management. Occasionally there will be a short case example. The special topics section includes a chapter on psychiatric emergencies, legal issues, behavioral/cognitive/psychodynamic treatments, psychopharmacology and electroconvulsive therapy. Each chapter includes self-assessment questions and an extensive bibliography.
There are very few images, all in greyscale. The font is a good size. The DSM 5 diagnostic criteria are listed in table format for each disorder. There is an excellent glossary in the back of the book that you can use to quiz yourself. The book is most appropriate for individuals being introduced to psychiatry for the first time. I even think it would be appropriate for primary care providers or a supplement to an undergraduate psychiatric nursing class.