Reviewed by Dr Harry Brown
Editor Fred Ferri
Published by Elsevier Saunders
Well you certainly know what you get from this book, when you read the title. It is indeed a clinical advisor and it is ready for 2015, even when I am writing this review in 2014. It is part of the excellent Expert Consult format which means, you get a print, web and app version all bundled within the price. The book is divided into 5 sections which leads to the claim in the front cover that it is five books in one and to be fair that is correct. The five sections comprise diseases and disorders, differential diagnosis, clinical algorithms and lab tests and interpretation of results and clinical practice guidelines. The last section is very US centric and has more limited attraction to a UK audience.
However that should not detract from what is an excellent book and superb reference source. It is ideal for primary care and useful for secondary care and there is a huge amount of detail and knowledge which of course going by the title is up to date. The book is primarily and mainly written in note and list style along with diagrams and I would suspect this is to allow a busy clinician to quickly access the data and read up on a topic quickly. It is packed with information and the hardback book extends to over 1772 pages. It is an impressive offering which must take some effort to put together; there is an impressive array of section editors and contributors.
I think for what you get, it is relatively modestly priced and I don’t think you need to get the new version when it appears next year. Most impressively if you spot an error or want something changed then the editor Fred Ferri has kindly published his e mail address in the preface.
Apart from the sheer volume of information available, the book’s big plus is the excellent and accessible layout designed for a rapid read of a specific topic. Having an electronic version available saves the user having to lug around a big textbook which still has its place.
Dr Harry Brown