Edited by Timothy Jackson
Published by JP Medical Publishers http://jpmedpub.com/
This is an excellent book aimed as the preface implies at junior ophthalmology staff and opticians wanting high quality advice to diagnose and manage a patient in front of them. We have all been there, a busy clinic and the patient you are dealing with has an important problem that needs dealt with, effectively and efficiently. Yet you want to give your patient the best possible management to the possible highest standards. This is where this superb handbook comes in; it is compact and so easily accessible and enable the user to drill down to the precise area of interest. If you have the time you can read around the subject relatively quickly and refresh your knowledge. The book gets to the point, quickly and effectively and so it is of great practical use in a clinical setting.
The title carries the name of a highly respected eye institution and has an impressive array of contributing authors, the vast majority of whom are based in the UK. It is a genuine handbook which is portable and does not take up too much desk space and yet is a huge collection of practical knowledge and wisdom. The book is a hardback flexi cover and contains 812 pages including the index. It is also has a quality feel about it, with glossy pages and plenty of illustrations, images and tables. The text is hugely informative, easy to read and information rich but broken up enough to make it easy on the eye and it does not take long to read through the important elements.
There is impressive detail here and common and not so common conditions and scenarios are dealt with here. Although it is a chubby handbook, make no mistake, there is a lot of information here that is easy to access and assimilate. I would imagine junior and middle grade ophthalmologists would find this book most helpful and I suspect their seniors would enjoy the painless learning and knowledge refreshment that this worthy book offers. It may be slightly more than primary care practitioners would require but then again, this book could be a one stop shop for them.
A good example of how good this book is, can be found on Page 727-the section on Giant Cell Arteritis, a condition that causes difficulties in both primary and secondary care. Over 3 readable pages are the clinically important issues such as symptoms, signs and investigations. There is an excellent box on how to do a temporal artery biopsy (I did not know that confirmation of diagnosis is only found in approximately 35% of patients) and treatment and follow up are clear and precise.
In fact, any section I read was practical, clear and a pathway identified, with little or no room for ambivalence. Equally there is no room for waffle, it is all concentrated knowledge, advice and good guidance, making it very helpful for its target audience. The only drawback I could think of is that it is a shame that there is no digital copy of the book (app or website) bundled with the purchase price. In saying that a busy practitioner would probably find it quicker looking up the book, assuming it is to hand.
For under £50, this book represents excellent value for money for those people likely to use it on a regular basis. In my eyes, a gem!
Dr Harry Brown
28th February 2022