Editors: Terry Mahan Buttaro, PhD; JoAnn Trybulski, PhD; Patricia Polgar Bailey, MS; and Joanne Sandberg-Cook, MS
Publisher: Elsevier-Mosby – 1,396 pages
Book Review by: Nano Khilnani

The importance of collaboration among health care professionals and the value of research and evidence are the core bases of this volume on primary care, the editors point out in their Preface to this book.

They acknowledge that there are many challenges the primary care physician faces in today’s health care system that is in a state of constant flux. They emphasize the benefits that accrue to all, from group support.

The treatment of patients by primary care doctors is enhanced when they have some knowledge of major disorders relating to a lot of medical specialties. But in an age of constantly-expanding knowledge created through new research, often they cannot keep up with it. So they often refer their patients to specialists, when the medical issues are beyond their medical expertise.

This book provides a lot of medical information that is needed by primary care physicians in treating their patients. That information is organized in the 22 Parts of the book we list below. Each Part contains a number of chapters, for a total of 248 chapters in this large print resource.

  1. Introduction
  2. Primary Care: Adolescence Through Adulthood
  3. Health Maintenance
  4. Office Emergencies
  5. Evaluation and Management of Skin Disorders
  6. Evaluation and Management of Eye Disorders
  7. Evaluation and Management of Ear Disorders
  8. Evaluation and Management of Nose Disorders
  9. Evaluation and Management of Oropharynx Disorders
  10. Evaluation and Management of Pulmonary Disorders
  11. Evaluation and Management of Cardiovascular Disorders
  12. Evaluation and Management of Gastrointestinal Disorders
  13. Evaluation and Management of Genitourinary Disorders
  14. Evaluation and Management of Gynecologic Concerns
  15. Evaluation and Management of Musculoskeletal and Arthritic Disorders
  16. Evaluation and Management of Neurologic Disorders
  17. Evaluation and Management of Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders
  18. Evaluation and Management of Hematologic Disorders
  19. Evaluation and Management of Rheumatic and Multisystem Disorders
  20. Evaluation and Management of Infectious Diseases
  21. Evaluation and Management of Oncologic Disorders
  22. Evaluation and Management of Mental Health Disorders

Nearly 190 medical doctors, nurses, PhDs and experts in related fields from all around the United States, wrote the 248 chapters of the fourth edition of this massive book of nearly 1,400 pages.

The medical specialties that these contributors have expertise in, besides family medicine, are numerous: cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, geriatrics, gerontology, infectious disease, nephrology, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pathology. physical medicine, psychology, pulmonary medicine, rehabilitation, rheumatology, urology, and other fields. They have had experience treating patients with common debilitating conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases, as well as non-critical problems.

The disorders that these content providers deal with are numerous, and a list of them are provided for you at the very beginning of this book, starting from the inside front cover. It is called Table of Contents by Disorder. There is a page number next to each disorder, so you can go immediately to that particular page and read up on what you are looking for.

The first four Parts of this book containing the first 38 chapters give you overviews of the many basics of primary care practice, that you need to know, whether you are starting out, or are already a practitioner, but need to, or want to know about some aspects of such a practice. Some important topics covered in these initial four Parts are:


  • Using research findings to improve your practice
  • Professional integrity and ethics
  • How to maximize reimbursement

Primary Care: Adolescence Through Adulthood:

  • Adolescent issues
  • Pregnancy and prenatal Care
  • Palliative and end-of-life care

Health Maintenance

  • Obesity and weight management
  • Routine health screenings and immunizations
  • Pre-surgical clearance

Office Emergencies 

  • Bites and stings
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Head trauma

The other 18 Parts – from Part 5 though 22 – containing 210 chapters deal respectively with different groups of abnormalities, ailments, conditions, diseases, and disorders classified according to medical specialty. These problems normally first come to the attention of primary physicians who either treat the patients or refer to specialists.

Most of the chapters are short in this book, so it serves as reference source for primary care physicians. If they need to get more detailed information on a particular problem, they can refer to a specialty source.

Let’s look at how the material in Part 5 – Evaluation and Management of Skin Disorders – is organized. It contains 31 chapters, from chapter 39 through 69. In the Table of Contents, you will note the titles of those chapters. The first four chapters deal with the basics of a practice in dermatology, namely:

  • Examination of the Skin and Approach to Diagnosis of Skin Disorders
  • Surgical Office Procedures
  • Principles of Dermatologic Therapy
  • Screening for Skin Cancer

Each of the other chapters – 43 through 69 – deals with a different skin problem, alphabetically arranged from acne vulgaris to wound management. Each chapter has a number of topics, and illustrations are provided. Other types of visual aids are also presented to make the understanding of the topic clearer. At the end of each chapter, you will find a list of References for further consultation and reading.

Primary Care: A Collaborative Practice is an excellent book for primary practice physicians. The editors named below and almost 190 contributors to it have worked well together, in a collaborative way, to  make it really a very valuable resource for anyone in this area of medicine.


Terry Mahan Buttaro, PhD, ANP-BC, FAANP is Assistant Clinical Professor at Simmons College; member of the Adjunct Faculty at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, and is affiliated with Coastal Medical Associates in Salisbury, Massachusetts.

JoAnn Trybulski, PhD, ARNP, DPNP is Chief Nursing Officer at the University of Miami Hospital in Miami, Florida.

Patricia Polgar Bailey, MS, NPH, APRN, BC, FNP, CDE, BC-ADM  is Family Nurse Practitioner in Pediatric Hematology / Oncology at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Joanne Sandberg-Cook, MS, APRN, BC, ANP, GNP, ACHPN is Adult / Gerontologist Nurse Practitioner at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire; and Instructor in Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire.