Clinical Small Animal Internal Medicine, Internal medicine is hard. Progress in science and technology makes it almost impossible to keep abreast of recent advances and on top of that, all of us want to balance our life both at work and home. Is there enough time in the day for everything?
Clinical Small Animal Internal Medicine
There are a variety of ways in which we learn and the path is not the same for everyone. For those of us with an interest in internal medicine, and I’m assuming that includes the reader of this book, we rely on a number of resources. Our colleagues, continuing education seminars, the literature, professional educational networks, and reference textbooks.
A concern of mine over the past few years has been the increasing reliance on technology to arrive at a clinical diagnosis rather than emphasizing the need to understand physiology and the value of a complete history and a thorough physical examination. We feel increasing pressure to arrive at a specific and definitive diagnosis and, more importantly, to arrive at that diagnosis almost immediately.
Your goal in Clinical Small Animal Internal Medicine is not to arrive at a diagnosis. I would much prefer to see a pet respond to my treatment and recover without a definitive diagnosis than to arrive at a definitive diagnosis at necropsy. If you are successful in achieving a diagnosis, that can be very rewarding.
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However, your goal should be to accurately identify problems and address those problems in a logical, timely, and cost‐effective manner, always weighing the risk/benefit of running myriad diagnostics versus improving the quality of life of your patient and the pet owner. While not every pet owner will be able to afford or desire to follow each and every one of our recommendations, it is our job to make sure that whatever decision the owner makes is based on being fully informed.
Illness is really physiology gone awry. If you have an understanding of what is normal, it makes your job of identifying the abnormal much easier. The body has a limited repertoire of responses to an insult so often many diseases will have very similar clinical presentations.
There are numerous excellent textbooks on the market and I use many of them on a daily/weekly basis. Some serve as definitive reference works for the topic under veterinary discussion. Some are brief, bullet point, clinically oriented texts that one can use to find something quickly. What I thought was currently lacking was a text that would be continually updated, provide enough background physiology to help the reader understand normal versus abnormal, and provide useful and, more importantly, clinically relevant material to help you with your patients.
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