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Family physicians probably see a wider variety of rashes, eye conditions, foot disorders, lumps and bumps, and undifferentiated problems than any other specialty. Over the past 10 years we have published two comprehensive atlases to aid in diagnosis using visible signs and internal imaging. In this third edition, we have decided that our book and all its electronic forms is more than an atlas—it is a comprehensive guide to all of family medicine. Therefore, the new name for our third edition is The Color Atlas and Synopsis of Family Medicine.

We have assembled more than 2400 outstanding clinical images for the third edition of the most comprehensive atlas and synopsis of family medicine ever produced. Some photographs will amaze you; all will inform you about the various conditions that befall our patients.

We were gratified by the great response to the first two editions. The smartphone, tablet, and web versions were also very well received and are again available for the third edition. Readers sent in a number of suggestions for additions, and we have taken those to heart, with new coverage of fundamental conditions.

New in the third edition are:

  • New chapters that expand the scope of the book, including chapters on mental health, the opioid crisis, dementia, sports-related head injury, and LGBT health issues. To expand on our Global Health chapter, we have added a chapter on Zika, Ebola, and other emerging infections.

  • A strengthened dermatology area with a new Foundations of Dermatology section that includes a comprehensive dermoscopy chapter, and chapters on dermatology terminology, topical and intralesional steroids, and biopsy principles and techniques. Because dermoscopy (the use of a handheld scope with light and magnification) is revolutionizing the diagnosis or all kinds of skin, nail, and hair conditions, we have incorporated more dermoscopy throughout the dermatology chapters. In this edition, we have added a separate advanced chapter on dermoscopy devoted to the diagnosis of skin cancers. By diagnosing skin cancers early, we can save lives. For providers interested in more procedural medicine, the chapters on intralesional steroids and biopsy techniques will help provide a foundation for these procedures.

  • To make the management section more valuable and user-friendly, we have divided management into first-line and second-line therapies whenever possible.

It took many people many years to create all three editions of The Color Atlas (and Synopsis) of Family Medicine. For me it is a life work that started with little notebooks that I kept in my white coat pocket to take notes during my residency. It then took on color and images as I kept a film camera at work and took photographs with my patients’ permission of any interesting clinical finding that I might use to teach medical students and residents the art and science of medicine. I was inspired by many great family physicians, including Dr. Jimmy Hara, who had the most amazing 35-mm slide collection of clinical images. His knowledge of medicine is encyclopedic, and I knew that his taking photographs had something to do with that. Also, I realized that these photographs would greatly enhance my teaching of others. As I began to expand my practice to see more dermatology cases, my photograph collection skyrocketed. Digital photography made it more affordable and practical to take and catalogue many new images.

The Color Atlas and Synopsis of Family Medicine is written for family physicians and all healthcare providers involved in primary care. It can also be invaluable to medical students, residents, internists, pediatricians, and dermatologists. It is available electronically for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, all Android devices, Kindle, and on the web through Access Medicine. These electronic versions have allowed healthcare providers to access the images and content rapidly at the point-of-care.

One doctor wrote, “As a teacher and learner in Family Medicine and Dermatology, this atlas is an invaluable resource. Excellent quality pictures look great on the iPad. My patients appreciate seeing pictures of other people with the same medical conditions as theirs. Concise and evidence-based recommendations are just what we need in the busy setting of primary care. It is one of my most frequently referenced books/apps. A must-have for every teacher, learner, or practitioner of Family Medicine or primary care.”

The third edition of The Color Atlas and Synopsis of Family Medicine is for anyone who loves to look at clinical photographs for learning, teaching, and practicing medicine. The first chapter begins with an introduction to learning with images and digital photography. The core of the book focuses on medical conditions organized by anatomic and physiologic systems. Both adult and childhood conditions are included, as this book covers healthcare from birth to death. There are special sections devoted to the essence of family medicine, physical/sexual abuse, women’s health, and substance abuse.

The collection of clinical images is supported by evidence-based information that will help the healthcare provider diagnose and manage common medical problems. The text is concisely presented with many easy-to-access bullets as a quick point-of-care reference. Each chapter begins with a patient story that ties the photographs to the real-life stories of our patients. The photographic legends are also designed to connect the images to the people and their human conditions. Strength of recommendation ratings are cited throughout so that the science of medicine can be blended with the art of medicine for optimal patient care (see table below).

Because knowledge continues to advance after any book is written, use the online resources presented in many of the chapters to keep up with the newest changes in medicine. Care deeply about your patients and enjoy your practice, as it is a privilege to be a healthcare provider and healer.

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Strength of Recommendation (SOR) Definition
ARecommendation based on consistent and good-quality patient-oriented evidence.*
BRecommendation based on inconsistent or limited-quality patient-oriented evidence.*
CRecommendation based on consensus, usual practice, opinion, disease-oriented evidence, or case series for studies of diagnosis, treatment, prevention, or screening.*
*See Appendix A on pages 1603–1606 for further information.

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