2 Volume set 26th Edition
Edited by Lee Goldman and Andrew Schafer
Published by Elsevier (December 2019)
In a nutshell, this is a superb 2 volume very modern general textbook of medicine that covers a massive amount of material in an authoritative and trustworthy manner. This latest incarnation of this book is now in an impressive 26th edition and is very much a modern, in depth and superb textbook of general medicine. According to the preface, the book has been around for over 90 years and I am sure will be around for many more years to come. There is an impressive array of contributors and most of them are from the United States and this has helped to create a great one stop shop of general medical practice.
This edition has 2 large volumes of roughly equal sizes, volume 1 is 1350 pages plus the index whilst the other is just over 1300 pages as well as the index. Both volumes which I will now consider as one “virtual book” are beautifully produced on glossy paper with plenty of tables, figures, textboxes and references. There is a substantial amount of text here, but it is well broken up into readable portions. It is a traditional but modern, detailed and well written textbook that covers a huge volume of general medical matters and makes a brilliant reference source. The effort to produce such a substantial work is immense and great credit goes to all who contributed, both past and present.
I found this most useful, looking up a relevant topic during my everyday medical activities and for most queries, this book gave a very good, detailed and readable response. It is very much clinically and specialist care focussed. However non specialist clinicians will find this a very useful and trustworthy reference source. Equally, if you want to read around a topic then this is also a great book or simply dip in and read a topic at random. There is plenty relevant here for a global audience. This is an excellent example of what a good, robust and detailed modern textbook of medicine should be.
I enjoyed the clarity of writing in the book and considering the volume of contributors that is a considerable feat. Take for example the description of Kawasaki disease on page 1753, although a paediatric condition and acknowledged in the description, it could have implications for adults. The description of the condition is excellent. Common conditions are covered in ample detail, take for example the excellent description of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) on page 535 Chapter 82 is a detailed but very readable account of the condition. In fact for most healthcare professionals, there is enough here to look no further elsewhere.
I fondly recall the large textbooks of medicine that I used as a medical student and I am delighted to see that they still exist but have evolved into a modern and accessible format such as this excellent example. Having 2 volumes means the each of the two books are of manageable size and the production values are excellent. The images and tables which are liberally scattered throughout the book, enhance the value of the ample text.
Bundled with the book, is the excellent digital offering which is included with the purchase price. Simply scratch off a covering on the inside of volume 1 and go to a website and you can have a web edition of the book. There is also an app for a tablet or smartphone available as well and that comes in at a whopping 1.53GB download, so taking up a lot of space on the mobile device. However, the size of the download is not surprising considering the size and breadth of coverage within the two volumes of the book.
For what you get, the price of this offering is actually relatively speaking very good value for money. You get a substantial amount for your investment and if you are looking for a good all-round textbook of medicine, then take a look at this excellent and trusted offering.
Dr Harry Brown