Reviewed by Dr Harry Brown
Edward Bope and Rick Kellerman
Without doubt this book lives up to its title, it is certainly current and up to date. It is a textbook of general medicine and though American in origin, there is an awful lot here to interest a British reader. Interestingly both editors are family physicians so there is a lot here to interest primary care. There are loads of contributors, so there is enough expertise to cover the huge spectrum of topics on offer. Effectively this is a textbook of medicine but there are some nice and attractive extras thrown in. We have established it is up to date but this an annual publication. This means that the material is regularly reviewed and authors are refreshed and this happens every year giving this book powerful appeal.
It’s a big book at over 1,300 pages and is packed with text, interspersed with useful tables. There is a massive amount of information available and although primarily the book is sourced from the other side of the pond, there is plenty here to occupy a British reader. I guess the target audience is either primary care or general medicine. It is pretty comprehensive, yet accessible and the editing has been tight and seamless. This is an impressive feat considering the number of contributors.
All the standard topics are covered in good in depth detail but there is also good coverage of paediatric topics, men’s health, physical and chemical injuries and travel medicine. Each chapter introduces the author by saying “Method of” which is helpful and provides an understanding what the book is trying to achieve. The preface is certainly worth a read as is explains the interesting heritage of the book and provides some of the background about the late Dr Conn.
Of course the book does not remain in the past; it is very much of the present. In addition to being bang up to date, purchase of the book allows access to the full text of the on line version. Just scratch off a covering (on the inside front cover) to obtain the access code in order to activate the on line use. In turn this allows access to an app, also which permits full access to the content via a smartphone. This can be downloaded and made available for off line access.
All in all, this book and it’s on line cousins represent excellent value for money for a general medical resource. I would suspect that you don’t need to buy a new edition every year, as I would guess the content will evolve slowly but surely. It is a very good general textbook of medicine which is very current and despite its American origins, translates well into British practice.
Dr Harry Brown