Published by Oxford University Press (Published April 2022)
Edited by Katherine Owen, Helen Turner and John Wass
Now in a healthy 4th edition, this book certainly impresses. It is still the same height and width as many of it’s “colleagues” in the Oxford Medical Handbook series with the hard-wearing vinyl cover but its depth is chunky. It now extends to an impressive 1067 pages and feels quite thick for a handbook. This is a compliment and not a criticism as it seems you get a lot for the purchase price but what about the quality?
I am a big fan of this series of the Oxford Medical Handbooks, but I think we should also look at each book on its own merits. Not surprisingly, I have found this book to be excellent. The quality and depth of information is superb, and from my perspective of someone who worked in primary care, this book would have been good enough as a core text for both endocrinology and diabetes.
There is good coverage of topics such as Paediatric Endocrinology (Chapter 7) and Transitional Endocrinology (Chapter 8). Randomly I looked up the topic of Amiodarone and Thyroid Function and found an excellent description on Pages 96-98 with some good solid advice. The majority of contributors come from the UK and the useful list of symbols and abbreviations at the beginning is certainly very helpful.
There is a chapter on reproductive endocrinology which is also really good and the section on HRT is excellent and one of the best descriptions I have read. The large section on diabetes can be read in it’s entirety and the reader can obtain an excellent up to date review on diabetes. This book is like the others in the series, an excellent aid to manage a patient problem. However, it has also evolved into a really good reference book. Not bad for a handbook and it is a genuine handbook albeit a chunky one.
It is well written, clear and concise with the correct amount of a detail which would suit a primary or secondary care clinician. It is mainly text based with the occasional boxes and tables but with plenty of room to add your own notes on the pages if needed or desired. For example, there is an excellent 2 page description (Pages 888-889) on Ramadan and diabetes. The left hand page on Page 888 is text filled whilst on the opposite page, there is a large box about managing diabetes during Ramadan. Underneath the box, there is room to write your own notes. Though I thought these 2 pages provided most of the practical coverage a healthcare professional would need
Even better, the price is great value for money in these inflationary times although it does not have online access available via the purchase price of the book. Overall, this is an excellent, high quality and considering it is a handbook, it is quite in depth and would appeal to a wide number of healthcare professionals. Best of all is the keen price which I think is excellent value for money for an excellent book.
Dr Harry Brown
13th October 2022