Edited by Helen Turner, Richard Eastell and Ashley Grossman
Oxford University Press (Published July18)
I suspect many healthcare professionals have heard of the Oxford Handbook Series which is excellent and very useful for front-line healthcare use. However, there is another series by the same publishers which may not have the same high profile but sometimes can be equally helpful-that is the Oxford Desk Reference series. As the title suggests, the books tend to be bulkier and this one is a hard back and is more of reference book rather than a portable handbook. I would consider this (rightly or wrongly) the bigger sibling of the Handbook equivalent. Irrespective of the series, this book is an excellent volume covering many aspects of endocrinology.
The editors are British and there are many British contributors but there is a fair representation of global contributors as well. The book has 522 pages but there is a lot of detailed clinically orientated information. The book is primarily text based and the text is quite dense and has a small font though there is a good smattering of diagrams and images but consider it a solid and reliable text based reference book. The book is logically laid out and is clinically focussed and in fact is appropriate for GPs as well as specialists, not always an easy feat to achieve. It has a clear and logical approach to specific conditions, with short chapters and standard headings such as definitions, epidemiology, clinical presentation, work up, management etc though these headings vary, depending on the topic studied.
Endocrinology is not always the easiest subject to study or understand but this book makes life a lot easier for the reader. It is clearly focussed on understanding endocrine problems in patients and adds to the reader’s knowledge in a painless way. It is accessible and interesting to read and certainly would help to demystify some topics for certain readers. There is liberal use of bullet points and the language is precise and specific, again to help the reader quickly read up around a topic. In fact, I was surprised how much material was packed into this book.
There is also good coverage of relevant biochemistry and laboratory testing as well as imaging and I am sure this book would be well received in an endocrine outpatient clinic. Equally for a book of this size, there is good coverage of the less common conditions. For example, Chapter 13.3 on small bowel neuroendocrine tumours (carcinoids) there is an excellent chapter on this condition. In the past I have tried to read around this topic and certainly from my perspective, this is one of the best descriptions I have seen.
My only criticism is that the purchase price of this book does not come bundled with online access to its content and I hope the publishers will look at this again. However that is a minor criticism for what is an excellent book which although not cheap, covers its subject matter with authority and depth.
Dr Harry Brown