Edited by Krishna Chinthapalli, Nadia Magdalinou and Nicholas Wood
1st Edition. Published 2016
Published by Oxford University Press
This is the first time, I have come across this series, never mind this particular book and it is a most refreshing way of learning more about a speciality. In this case, the topic under consideration is neurology. There are 22 case histories presented in this book and each one represents a chapter, so each case history can be taken in isolation.
The case is presented with evolving history and examination findings and as the case unfolds, investigations are presented and the topic evolves. Within the text, there are plenty of learning point and expert comments produced within a text box. There is also good discussion around learning points about the case and it all makes interesting reading. The cases discussed are detailed, specialised and as a result generate a number of learning points.
The subject matter is clearly aimed at specialists, either established neurologists or trainees in the speciality. Yet as a practicing GP, I also found it useful and refreshing way of learning. I was also fascinated to read about the great strides made in neurology, particularly in the diagnostic fields. However, as a GP learning source, it has limited usefulness as it is primarily aimed at specialists because of the detail and depth. The contributors seem to be drawn from the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Queen Square, a well known recognised centre, so the book is filled with expertise. Being published this year, means it is up to date and I would guess could be useful in specialty exams as well.
It will not make a good general reference source, as it is topic driven but the selected topics it does cover are up to date. Each topic is well written and makes interesting reading and without doubt offers a rich learning experience, in part this is due the clinical focus of the book. After all, this is often how we see patients, so it is practical. Although there are 22 cases which may not seem a lot, there are just under 240 pages and so if your chief interest is neurology then over a period of a few weeks, or even sooner you could read the whole of this book and I am sure you will have learnt a reasonable amount, quite painlessly.
Dr Harry Brown