Since 1979, students, residents, practicing physicians, nurses, and
other allied health professionals have turned to the “Scut Monkey Book”
for learning the essential information on basic patient care. The Clinician's
is based on a University of Kentucky manual entitled So
You Want to Be a Scut Monkey: Medical Student's and House Officer's Clinical
The “Scut Monkey” program at the University of
Kentucky College of Medicine was first held in the summer of 1979 and was
developed by the Class of 1980 to help ease the sometimes frustrating
transition from the preclinical to the clinical years of medical school.
Based on detailed surveys from the University of Kentucky and 44 other
medical schools, the essential information and skills that students should
be familiar with at the start of their clinical years was developed.
The “Scut Monkey” program was developed
around this core and consisted of a simple reference manual and a series of
workshops conducted at the start of the third year. Held originally as a
pilot program for the University of Kentucky College of Medicine Class of
1981, the program has become an annual event. Each new fourth-year class
traditionally takes the responsibility of orienting the new third-year
students in basic skills. The program is successful because it was developed
and taught by students for other students.
Over the years, students
have been the main source of feedback for the book, critical to its
longevity. Information on the rising third-year “Scut Monkey”
orientation program is available from Dr. Todd Cheever, Assistant Dean for
Academic Affairs at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in
Over the last ten editions, the book
has been continually updated to reflect the dynamic changes in medical care.
Because of the demand, it is now on a two-year revision cycle to keep the
information as up to date as possible. An attempt is made to cover the most
frequently asked basic management questions that are normally found in many
different sources such as procedure manuals, laboratory manuals, drug
references, and critical care manuals, to name a few. This book is not meant
as a substitute for specialty-specific reference manuals; the core
information presented is the essential foundation for the new medical
student or health care provider beginning to learn hands-on patient care.
The book is designed to represent common medical
practices around the country. Over the years, contributors from dozens of
medical centers have enhanced the content of the book. The Clinician's
has been translated into many foreign languages,
including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish. The “Scut
Monkey” was honored to have been asked by Warner Brothers, the
producers of the TV show “ER,” to be one of the prop books used
on their series. The companion manual, the mini-pocket Clinician's Pocket
Drug Reference 2007,
has been well received and is in its sixth edition
We would like to express special
thanks to our wives and children for their patience and long-term support of
the “Scut Monkey” project. Our thanks to the team at
McGraw-Hill, in particular Editors Jim Shanahan and Harriet Lebowitz, for
keeping this book as one of their high priority publications. A special
thanks to our administrative assistant Denise Tropea for her support.
A word of eternal gratitude to the past administration
of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine: Drs. Kay Clawson, Terry
Leigh, and Roy Jarecky, and the then very young faculty member Dr. Richard
Braen, who took a chance and supported a group of third-year medical
students who wanted to try something a “little bit different”
way back in 1978. Thanks also to the hundreds of past contributors, Dr.
Michael Olding, and readers who have helped to establish the “Scut
Monkey Book” as one of the enduring references for students and
residents worldwide. Every medical student at the University of Kentucky
College of Medicine since 1979 has received a courtesy copy of this book as
a small token of our appreciation for the University's dedication to
producing outstanding and caring physicians who serve patients in the
Commonwealth and beyond.
We look forward to your
comments and suggestions because they allow us to keep the book up to date
and useful, an effort that would be impossible if it were not for our
readers. We hope this book will not only help you learn some of the basics
of the art and science of medicine but also allow you to care for your
patients in the best way possible.
Visit our web site www.thescutmonkey.com
for complimentary enhanced content for this edition of the Clinician's