Edited by Robert Tasker and Carlo Acerini
Published by Oxford University Press (January 2021)
This is yet another winner from this outstanding series of the Oxford Medical Handbooks and I am sure this new edition will go on to become an outstanding success, like many of the books in this series. For those that are not familiar with this superb series, these are more than just handbooks, they are encased in a tough viny cover and in the case of this particular book, it is chunky in its thickness. It runs to an impressive 1015 pages and yet remains portable and accessible.
At the top of the front cover, there is an impressive sounding strapline “The comprehensive guide for clinical care of the young patient” and this is no empty boast. The book is a superb tour of paediatrics and goes into many topics in significant depth. Not bad for a handbook! Most of the editors and contributors are British which is great for a UK audience but there are also a few foreign contributors which gives this book a nice, rounded feel. One of the editors is from Harvard Medical School (Boston, USA)
The book is seemingly endless in its coverage and I am sure there are probably some areas that are either not covered or covered slightly. If there are these lapses, I could not find them as they were not obvious to me. Certainly, a healthcare professional working in primary care, will find this to be a one stop shop, unless you are looking for a very rare scenario or want to read around a subject in significant depth. For example, I wanted to look up and read around the topic of Henoch Schonlein purpura and between pages 701 and 702, everything was there that I needed to know.
There is consistency throughout the book, in terms of writing style and clarity and every word counts. There is no waffling or beating around the bush-it is very factual with short paragraphs and generous use of bullet points. This makes it easier to read around a topic such as my experience of Henoch Schonlein purpura.
Important topics such as child safeguarding, (Chapter 26), Paediatric Surgery (Chapter 22) and Paediatrics, ethics and the law (chapter 29) are covered to give this book a good rounded approach. These are important topics and as is seen throughout the book, easy to read. The start of the book is excellent with a very helpful symbols and abbreviation section, and chapter 1 practicing paediatrics is short, to the point and bursting with advice and wisdom.
In fact at the bottom of page 3, the user is encourage to annotate the book with their own additions. The whole book is great for medical students, junior paediatric doctors and primary care healthcare professionals. Even established paediatricians, especially those practicing in a subspecialty might appreciate a look at other areas of paediatrics that they don’t always see day to day. This book is a gateway to painless learning for almost everyone with a professional interest in clinical paediatrics.
Finally the price, this book is very good value for money and I suspect many users will repeated come back to learn from it’s wisdom. If you have a clinical interest in paediatrics then this book will interest you. Most common and less common scenarios are covered in reasonable detail from a practical perspective, if you want more detail then you will need to consult a larger reference source. However, for most everyday general day to day clinical paediatrics, this should suffice. It is a pleasure to use and great value for money.
Dr Harry Brown