Edited by Gary Firestein, Ralph Budd, Sherine Gabriel, Gary Koretzky, Iain McInnes and James O’Dell
11th edition 2 volume set published July 2020
Published by Elsevier (June 2020)
In the modern Internet era, you would think that the blockbuster, large, almost encyclopaedic printed textbook (even more than the one volume, like this work) of any medical discipline is now a historical footnote in the digital age. I disagree and this superb 2 volume substantial and all-encompassing printed textbook of rheumatology (and it comes bundled with a digital version-more later) is testament that the large medical printed textbook certainly has a role to play in modern medical education. I would call this 2-volume substantial work, an outstanding scholarly contribution to learning more about rheumatology.
This is clearly a work aimed at rheumatologists or those that work in rheumatology who need a detailed, uptodate background of many of the myriad issues that they face. This can include the amazing scientific and biological breakthroughs we have seen in rheumatology in recent years. For example, Chapter 15 is devoted to mast cells and as well as detailed and relevant text, there is excellent use of colour, super and clear diagrams and tables. Being a scholarly work, there are also plenty of selected references.
This book is seemingly comprehensive (I am sure someone, somewhere will catch it out) and has an impressive list of contributors. Many are from the United States but there are global contributors and one of the editors is based in Scotland. The book is also beautifully produced and the clarity of the illustrations as well as the clear text provides high production levels. It is printed on glossy paper which provides a premium feel to this book. However, it is content that is critical, and the content matches the exceptional production standards of this book.
Clinically, not surprisingly this book is very in depth and I am sure will match many clinicians’ expectations. I enjoyed reading around common and not so common areas and this book was a treasure trove of information when reading around certain conditions and situations. I learnt a lot from reading the section on Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH) starting from page 1839 (Chapter 108) and spans 7 pages. It is the best account I have read on this topic. The printed version can be an excellent reference source or something that can be dipped into to read around a subject. However there is one aspect about the combined 2 volumes, it is certainly not portable because it is 2 large heavy textbooks.
So, helpfully there is a digital version bundled with the cost of this book and it too is excellent. It follows the publishers’ well proven digital model. There is a clear to use website whilst there is an app for a mobile device which requires just over a 1GB download on a mobile device. Both are easy to use and even easier if you have used any of the publishers’ similar offerings in the past.
All in all, this book is superb and not surprisingly this weighty, two volume offering comes at a substantial price. If you are a full time rheumatologist or a healthcare professional that works almost exclusively in this field, then I am sure you would want to own copy. However, it is a high price but for some people the price could be worth it. This is an outstanding piece of work and you can see why it has reached an 11th edition.
Dr Harry Brown 1st November 2020