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Book Review: Physician Assistant Review 3

Updated on December 12, 2012

Edited by Patrick C. Auth PhD, MS, PA-C and Morris D. Kerstein MD, FACS

Published by Wolters Kluwer, Lipincott Williams & Wilkins


This book provides a high yield review of the major disease states represented on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). Content is organized based on body system and presented in bulleted outline format. Common disease states are then further broken down, with discussions of:

  • etiology
  • pathology
  • clinical features
  • diagnostic studies
  • management

Additionally, this book provides a number of online comprehension questions that may be used as study tools for preparing for the PANCE. Lastly, it provides a chapter discussing study techniques and test taking strategies.

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Strengths of Physician Assistant Review 3


For many new grads preparing for the PANCE the task is overwhelming and it feels like the content to review is endless. Consequently, this review book’s greatest strength is in its formatting. The authors break down disease states based on body system to allow for a comprehensive and thorough study method covering common conditions. Additionally, the outline format makes this book easy to read and allows one to work through organ systems quickly, but thoroughly. Common diseases are discussed from etiology through management, so while concise, it provides a thorough review of each of the common diseases discussed. While a number of PANCE review books provide content in an outline format, I felt that this book was exceptional at being concise without losing detail.


This review is quite comprehensive in the diseases that it covers. Additionally, it provides a review of commonly prescribed drugs and a chapter of study techniques and test taking skills. Lastly, authors provide a number of illustrations to aid in the reader’s understanding. Illustrations depict disease pathology, as well as aid readers in disease identification.

Not included in the text, but available online are a number of questions readers can use to both review and test comprehension. Online questions can be used in 3 ways: to review, as a practice test, or as a PANCE simulation. To review, common diseases are broken down based on body system and answers with explanation are provided immediately after answering each question. Both practice test and PANCE simulation are formatted like exams and provide answers and a score report after completion. Answer explanations provide users with feedback that aids in understanding and also provides tips for testing strategy based on question format. Currently, the certifying exam is computer based, so this online format allows readers to become more comfortable with the idea of computer based testing.


Currently this review book is listed for $43.45 on There are a number of methods for PANCE preparation which include review books, like this one, and review courses. Overall this book provides an adequate review of material at a reasonable cost for those new grads who are self motivated and learn best via independent study.

Areas for Improvement

Published in 2008, it can be argued that this book does not provide the most up to date review of disease states for the PANCE. A 4th edition was released in August of 2012 and while I have not used it personally, I assume that it provides more up to date information. However, 4 years time between editions leaves room for lag in how current the information provided is.

While the chapter on ethical and legal consideration is well written and provides useful information for new grads, it is not covered on the PANCE and superfluous for a PANCE review book.


Overall, this book provides a concise, yet thorough review of the majority of the diseases covered on the PANCE. The outline formatting of this book makes studying for the PANCE more manageable and less overwhelming for first time test takers. While this edition was published in 2008, it still proved to be a useful study tool when used in conjunction with other up to date text books when further clarification is needed.


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