Andrew Baldwin, Nina Hjelde, Charlotte Goumalatsou and Gil Myers
Published by Oxford University Press (July 2016) 10th edition
This is a supremely ambitious book which tries to cover a number of basic clinical specialties under the one umbrella. I am delighted to report that it achieves this aim extremely well and is an excellent source of information about a number of common specialties. Not surprisingly, it covers a huge wealth of material in a surprisingly small book. Of course it comes as part of the highly acclaimed Oxford handbook series and is now in a mature 10th edition. So perhaps it is not surprising that it maintains quality along with quantity.
The book runs into just over eight hundred pages and is encased in the well-known vinyl covers which ably protects the contents of the book. One of the best ways to understand the breadth of coverage of this book is simply to look at the contents section at the beginning of the book. There are 14 chapters covering a large number of specialties and includes anesthesia and eponymous syndromes as well as expected entries such as gynaecology, ophthalmology, ENT and dermatology amongst others.
Each chapter seems to be information packed and in fact it is very easy just to open up a chapter and read on and update and refresh your knowledge on that particular topic. Because of the sheer breadth of subject matter covered, it should appeal to a wide audience of healthcare professionals. From GPs to their registrars as well as accident and emergency departments, walk-in centres and medical students are just some of the people who I am sure would be interested in this book. Even better, this book is excellent value for money at just a shade under £30 and I am sure most relevant purchasers would not be disappointed with owning this book.
Although the book is mainly text driven, there are the occasional illustrations but without doubt of strength lies in the information that it contains. The text is tightly packed but I found it relatively easy to read both visually and from an understanding point of view. Even if the subject matter that you are particularly interested forms only a part of the book then other parts which may be less interesting from a professional point of view may still be of interest, simply from a learning and educational perspective.
This is an excellent information packed book which covers a large number of specialties and will appeal to a wide audience. Even better it is keenly priced and so represents good value for money. Another excellent member of the Oxford Handbook series.
Dr Harry Brown