Two volume edition Published 2015
Karl Skorecki, Glenn Chertow, Philip Marsden, Maartan Taal and Alan Yu
You don’t need to be a genius, to figure out what this book is all about – in case you not sure; it is a textbook of kidney disease. In a sense, this may well be an understatement because this is a truly outstanding and hugely comprehensive study of this field. Without doubt this is a textbook aimed squarely at a specialist who is either established or in training. If you are looking for a basic introductory text, this is not the place to be.
It is incredibly detailed, and I suspect would cover the vast majority of clinical scenarios found in nephrology. For non specialists, nephrology can sometimes be a difficult field to understand but to be fair even as a non-specialist, I found this book interesting and educational in many places, though some areas were a bit too detailed for me. But other parts were very interesting and informative. This is a two volume edition, with each volume being of substantial size. It is also a great example of what a high quality textbook should be and brings home to me that the day of the big medical textbook is not dead yet.
It does help that this book is beautifully produced and sprinkled with a liberal use of colour tables and images whilst the abundant text is easy to read and clear. Not surprisingly, in view of the huge breadth and depth of the subject matter covered within these two volumes, this is very much a multi-author contribution. I may be sad but I always like to look at the contributors to a big textbook like this and I was impressed by the range of countries represented here, turning this into a truly global textbook. Of course, it is not surprising that there is a strong North American contribution but it’s good to see other countries represented as well.
As I have said this book is incredibly detailed, and is an impressively scholarly work. The amount of effort and time to create such a work must have been huge. Equally it builds on its predecessors; this is now the 10th edition. I am sure that many doctors working in nephrology would be pleased to have access to this book. I guess one factor that may be holding back wider ownership is the cost, as this is certainly not a cheap offering. It is a significant financial outlay to own this book. However also take into account that bundled with the price is a web version of the book plus an app based version for tablets and smartphones. In fact the whole book can be downloaded onto a device thus not needing any future access to an Internet connection. This allows speedy access to the contents of the book but the price to pay is just over 800 MB of precious disk space needed to have the contents of the book on your device.
It is a fabulous and hugely detailed textbook and without doubt is a premium package but that means a hefty price. However, if you are a nephrologist either in training or at the top of the career ladder, I suspect you will be happy to own such an impressive work.
Dr Harry Brown