By Alastair Denniston and Philip Murray
Published 2018 by Oxford University Press
This excellent handbook has now reached a mature 4th edition and it certainly keeps up to the excellent tradition and high standards set by other members of the superb Oxford medical handbook series. Published this year, hopefully it will be uptodate and like other members of the Oxford medical handbook series, it is easy to read as well as being clear and practical. In particular, it is pitched at the level needed by a healthcare professional dealing with clinical problems common and less common.
It is packed full of information and arguably it is not a handbook as it extends to just over 1200 pages including the index. Although this page length makes the book chunky, it retains the attributes of what makes the Oxford medical handbook series so popular. Namely packed full of clinically highly relevant data to help either manage a patient or to improve or update your knowledge. Equally despite its chunky size compared to other Oxford medical handbooks, it retains its portability and user friendliness.
Not surprisingly, it covers a wide variety of material and would be very useful for both trainees and established practitioners in ophthalmology as well as GPs. In fact for GPs and other health care professionals, this book could easily function as virtually a sole source of ophthalmology knowledge. There is a lot of detail and clinical information within this excellent book but it is relevant and not overwhelming.
Helpfully, purchase of this book provides online access to a media bank through an initial registration process accessed from a card in the inside front cover. However ideally it would be great if the whole book would be available from either a website or app as a bundled extra with the book. In saying that I had difficulty in accessing the media bank and could not manage it. However this was not a major issue as the printed book is easily worth the money alone.
Like other books in the stable, the price is competitive and good value but I am sure some people would be prepared to pay a little more to either have app or web access to the whole of the book’s contents. Overall this is an excellent book that maintains the traditions of the series and is a very good and broad review of the topic.
Dr Harry Brown