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

Updated features in this revised edition include: an emphasis on mental health; infectious diseases, including respiratory distress syndrome with reference to coronaviruses, including COVID-19; women’s health; and cardiology. In addition, there is 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. There is also a focus on management, which is presented in a succinct format.

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, heart failure and diabetes type 2 stepwise management, childhood infectious disease school exclusion times, ECG and respiratory function test pointers. The main reference used is the excellent Therapeutic Guidelines published by Therapeutic Guidelines Limited.

The authors acknowledge the contribution of Dr Jill Rosenblatt and Dr Justin Coleman.

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