Tareen’s Understanding Psychiatry: An excellent book for medical students and Trainees in Psychiatry


 Book Review

Tareen’s Understanding Psychiatry:

An excellent book for medical students and Trainees in Psychiatry

Third Revised Edition compiled and edited by Dr. Tanveer Ahmad Rana
has also incorporated recent developments in psychiatric practice

LAHORE: Tareen’s (Prof. I.A.K. Tareen and Prof. Khalida Ijaz Tareen) is a wonderful couple who have contributed a great deal in their own spheres in the field of Psychiatry in Pakistan. Prof. I. A. K Tareen FRC Psych retired as Professor and Head of the Academic Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences from King Edward Medical College while Prof. Khalida Ijaz Tareen was the pioneer of Child Psychiatry in Pakistan who founded the Dept. of Child Psychiatry at May Hospital affiliated with King Edward Medical College, Lahore. They are the recipients of numerous Honours and Awards in recognition of their services to promote Mental Health and teaching and training in psychiatry having trained a large number of mental healthcare professionals. Prof.Khalida Ijaz Tareen is still affiliated with King Edward MedicalUniversityas Prof. Emeritus Child and Family Psychiatry.  She was awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 2015 and is currently running and managing Special Education and Training Center for the intellectually impaired children. It was in 1998 that they thought of compiling and editing a book on Psychiatry basically meant for medical students and trainees in psychiatry which was published in April 1998.

This book reflected over thirty years teaching and clinical experience of the couple and their realization that undergraduate medical students needed some book which is easy to understand and help them practice what they learn in the field of psychiatry as regards identification and diagnosis of psychiatric disorders was concerned. Hence in this book the couple mainlyconcentrated on common psychiatric diseases like depression, anxiety disorders and drug dependence barely touching the diseases which come in the domain of psychiatrists rather than primary care physicians. They also briefly touched topics like child psychiatry, psychiatric disorders in the adolescents and learning disabilities. They laid emphasis on students to master the art of history taking and mental state examination which is a time consuming procedure but extremely important if one has to come to correct diagnosis. The students were advised to formulate their questions in such a way which could help them get maximum information in shortest possible time.   The students were also encouraged to develop expertise assessing the mental state of patients.  This book became very popular and its Second Edition was published by the authors in 2004.  Something which needs to be commended is the fact that now its Third Revised Edition compiled and edited by Dr. Tanvir Ahmad Rana  MRC Psych , a noted Pakistani  Consultant Psychiatrist in UK, has been published by ParamountBooks (Pvt)_ Ltd., in 2016 thereby maintaining the continuity.  In this revised edition Dr. Tanvir Rana has also incorporated recent developments in psychiatric practice thereby enhancing its utility and usefulness for the readers.

This 352-Page Book has twenty chapters which cover almost all the essential and important psychiatric disorders which the medical students, trainees in psychiatry, family physicians and General Practitioners or psychologists need to know. The subjects covered include Signs and Symptoms  of Psychiatric Disorders,  The Psychiatric Interview,  History taking and mental state examination,  Anxiety disorders,  Mood (Affective)Disorders, Schizophrenia and related disorders,  Personality Disorders, Alcohol and Drug Dependence,  Psychiatry and Medicine, Dissociative (Conversion) and Somatoform disorders,  Neuropsychiatry and Old Age  psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, IntellectualDisability, Forensic Psychiatry, Perinatal and Psychiatric Disorders specific to Women, Sleep Disorders, Psychosexual Disorders, Eating Disorders, Psychological Methods of Treatment, Drugs and other Physical Treatments and all the chapters have been very well referenced.

Writing in the Preface of this Revised Third edition Dr. Tanvir Ahmad Rana says that “since 1998 when this book was first conceived and published, there has been many changes and research developments in psychiatric practice. All these advancements have been taken into account and incorporated in this edition. The book is primarily written for medical students and traineedoctors in psychiatry but mental health nurses, social workers, psychologists, occupational therapists, physician’s assistants and General Practitioners all will find it extremely useful”. The students and trainees, he further states, need to learn to phrase their questions sensitively in the light of the information obtained. This will help them in arriving at correct diagnosis leading to formulating a comprehensive management plan. The book contains a list of very useful questions to elicit history and mental state examination.

Many eminent mental healthcare professionals including Dr. Nora Lowy from New York, Dr. Mathew Broome from University of Oxford, Prof. Andrea Fagiolini from University of Siena Italy and Prof. Oliver Pogarell from University of Munich have commended the efforts of the authors saying “the principles of psychiatry are simply and clearly laid out, and psychiatric disorders are distinctly presented and discussed.  What is most impressive about this book is that throughout the learning process, the humanity of patients is brought forth. “. Dr. Tanvir Rana has been very gracious to acknowledge the help assistance and guidance he received from his teachers, professional friends and colleagues besides the immediate family members while compiling and editing this Revised Third Edition.

In medical practice, clinical skills are extremely important which includes careful history taking and physical examination to come to correct diagnosis but it becomes all the more important in psychiatry wherein this is and remains the primary diagnostic tool. Hence the Chapter on Psychiatric Interview has a large number of useful screening questions which the students and trainees in psychiatry will find very useful. A scoring system with maximum points in different sections like Orientation, Registration, Attention and Calculation, Recall,Language, Naming and Repeating, Reading, Writing, The Three Stage command and Construction supplementsthe chapter on History Taking and Mental State Examination.

It is indeed commendable effort on the part of Prof.I. A. K. Tareen and Prof.Khalida Ijaz Tareen who conceived this, compiled and edited the First and Second Editions of the book. The efforts made by Dr. Tanveer Ahmad Rana who has edited this RevisedThirdEdition also deserve appreciation. Price Rs.  695/- The book is available from Paramount Books (Pvt) Ltd. 152/O, Block-2, PECHS Karachi. Phone: 34310030- SAJ