Stuart Ralston, Ian Penman, Mark Strachan and Richard Hobson
Published by Elsevier (April 2018)
I have a strong emotional attachment to this textbook and its predecessors; I started using this book as an undergraduate many moons ago and I used it intensively until I qualified. Through the years as a postgraduate, I have used many editions of the book and found it just as useful. So it was with great pleasure I looked at this book’s latest incarnation, the 23rd edition. According to the back of the book and the website, I was pleased to see I am not alone “More than two million medical students, doctors and other health professionals around the globe have owned a copy of Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine since it was first published.”
Of course that is then but what about now and how does the latest edition fare? Well it still remains a superb all round textbook of medicine which can appeal to undergraduates as well as postgraduates. I am sure the late Sir Stanley Davidson who first produced this book would be proud of its current place in modern medical education. In past editions, I appreciated the excellent clarity and preciseness of language and I am delighted to see that this persists into the latest edition. It remains a pleasure to read, packed full of facts and information and yet remains concise, readable and highly clinically relevant. There is no excessive baggage with this book; everything remains to the point, focussed and clear. Yet its coverage is vast and is a wonderful and modern reference book intended for a huge variety of healthcare professionals both in the UK and throughout the world. As well as being a reference book, it is easy to look up a specific topic and quickly improve your knowledge about that subject, in a relatively short space of time.
It is also well illustrated with colour pictures, figures and tables liberally spread throughout its 1400 plus pages. Of course it is a big book–it can’t be carried around in a pocket but thankfully it comes bundled with a web and app version included with the purchase price of the book. Both are easy to use and are part of the publisher’s standard digital stable and so similar to other products in the publisher’s domain. These digital products are easy to use on the move as long as you have a compatible device.
It is also keenly priced and provides excellent value for money. I am delighted to see that it has moved with the times and retains the clarity and freshness of previous editions. Even better, it has got better and better as time has passed with each edition. Put simply this is a superb textbook of clinical medicine that will appeal to a wide audience at a competitive price. It has been a gem and remains a gem.
Dr Harry Brown