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This companion handbook is a condensed version of the parent text, Murtagh's General Practice sixth edition (MGP, 6e). It is written in response to requests from the many general practitioners, registrars and students who believed that it would be very useful to have a pocket-sized summary of General Practice, which could be carried around during work hours in particular. The companion gives an alphabetical presentation of the vast majority of common problems—especially the nitty-gritty problems presenting in routine practice.

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New features in this revised edition include an expansion of Murtagh's Diagnostic Strategies for Common Presenting Symptoms and also the ‘triad and tetrad’ aide-mémoire strategy to pinpoint the diagnosis of specific important conditions. Apart from diagnosis, the focus is on management, so that detailed information about clinical features, investigation and whole-person care will be lacking. Such details, in addition to references, will be found in MGP, 6e.

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The revised companion includes several checklists, flow charts and diagrams that can be readily accessed by the busy practitioner. Examples include: BMI calculator, dermatomes, the mini-mental state examination, Snellen's chart, diabetes type 2 stepwise management, childhood infectious disease school exclusion times, ECG and respiratory function test pointers. The main reference used is the excellent Drug Guideline series published by Therapeutic Guidelines Limited.

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The authors acknowledge the contribution of Dr Ndidi Victor Ikealumba.

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