Edited by Fred Ferri
Published by Elsevier (August 2017)
This is an impressive, very in depth single volume but actually it is 5 books rolled into one, to produce an excellent clinical resource that is updated every year. The five sections are diseases and disorders, differential diagnosis, clinical algorithms, laboratory tests and interpretation of results and clinical practice guidelines. The book runs to just over 2000 pages and is a sturdy hardback. Equally impressive are the number of section editors and contributors and although they are all American based, this book in the main will appeal to a worldwide audience. The appeal is also broad with a big interest from general medicine and primary care, as well as doctors and allied healthcare professionals.
Also impressive is that the book appears every year and is updated and I noticed in the preface that the editor publishes his e mail address asking for reader comments, another impressive addition. Each of the 5 sections has its strengths and the diseases and disorders section is certainly superb, clear and concise and laid out in standard subsections. I especially liked the pearls and considerations subsection. This contained good hints and tips and this total section (diseases and disorders) takes up a big chunk of the book and deservedly so. The other sections mentioned previously also have great merit and combined these various subsections come together to produce an impressive piece of work.
Each of these sections has good merit and overall the book provides an excellent reference source over a huge breadth of topics. It is also a good book to simply dip in and read around a variety of topics, simply for education and general reading. Bundled with the price is the publisher’s excellent ExpertConsult on line version which offers a web and app version which is easy to use. This allows the book to be more versatile and more easily available on the front line; after all it is a big book which is not easily portable. In addition, there is extra material on line that is not available in the printed book.
All this comes at a cost and I think for a shade just over £62, you get excellent value for money for the whole bundle. Being annually updated means that it is fresh and regularly revised. I would doubt that most people would want to buy a new edition every year but you never know. All in all, it is excellent reference source at a keen price and is packed full of information.
Dr Harry Brown