“I always aspired to be a complete physician who is not only well versed in academic medicine but is also out in the trenches of day-to-day patient care.” – Dr. Fred Ferri
As a medical student, I always admired physicians who were involved in the direct care of patients. So I always aspired to be a complete physician who was not only well versed in academic medicine but was also out in the trenches of day-to-day patient care. That’s one of the things that drove me to the field of internal medicine. Internal medicine is a specialty that allows me to get to know patients and their families, to see them on a continual basis instead of once every few years as a specialist. Continuity of care helps strengthen the special bond that exists between the physician and the patient. That’s why I like primary care and why internal medicine is my specialty.
Being involved in the daily care of patients, being in the “trenches” with other practicing physicians provides me with a better perspective of what is going in the practice of medicine and it gives me an advantage over other physician authors from purely academic centers, with very little patient contact.
Some of my early books came out of my training in internal medicine. Actually, my first book was written when I was an intern through the Yale Medical School program. As an intern in the early 1980s I used to walk around with several books in my lab coat, : a small lab book, a book on clinical diagnosis, a differential diagnosis book and others that served as my peripheral brain. I was unable to find one book that contained all this information in a portable concise format. So I approached the chief of medicine at the hospital where I was working and told him that I wanted to write a new medical book that would make the life of medical students and residents a little easier. His response was, “Well, I admire your work ethic and your attitude, but there are entire medical schools that have written medical books that don’t do well — what makes you think that yours is going to be different?” I told him that as an Internal Medicine intern I knew exactly what the other students and medical residents needed and I could do a better job.
As a practicing physician I recognize the limited time busy physicians have at their disposal for patient care. If you are seeing a patient and have a waiting room full of patients, you don’t have much time to go on the internet and try to read through 10 pages to find something that we can give in one paragraph. Later on, at your leisure you can research the topic in more detail, but I have done the homework for you and with our excellent team at Elsevier I am able to update the books on a regular basis and provide you with the latest information that will improve your patient care. In the very near future, we’ll be able to update our on-line books on a daily basis. If something comes up today, it will be up and available tomorrow.
Fred F. Ferri, MD, FACP, is a Clinical Professor at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University. He is a world-expert in the field of Internal Medicine and has authored over 20 major medical publications, including Ferri’s Clinical Advisor 2013, Practical Guide to the Care of the Medical Patient, 8th Edition, Ferri’s Netter Patient Advisor, 2nd Edition, Ferri’s Differential Diagnosis, 2nd Edition, and Ferri’s Fast Facts, as well as working on the editorial board of First Consult. He understands the needs of his peers for practical, actionable information in primary care to make educated decisions in the delivery of quality healthcare.