Edited by Rebecca McKnight, Jonathan Price and John Geddes
Published by Oxford University Press
Published May 2019
There is nothing to beat a good solid undergraduate medical textbook and for us here in the UK even better, this is a British based book. The three lead authors are either practising in Oxford or in some way associated with Oxford University and the book is published by Oxford University Press. The book is good enough to be of use to both medical undergraduates as well as junior doctors and GPs wanting a refresher on the topic. Equally healthcare professionals with an interest in mental health will also find this a very good resource. I think a lot of people will find this useful and educational.
It is a good solid book and helpfully at the beginning, there is a list of abbreviations which I always find very helpful. It is a really good undergraduate book and great for junior doctors finding their way into the speciality. For GPs, this is a very good back to basics book which is well written and wide ranging in the topics it covers. It covers the topics in a systematic and logical format and whilst the book is mainly text driven, it does have good boxes and tables scattered throughout the text.
The book packs a big punch within its 542 pages and covers a lot of territory. The book starts with a gentle introduction to psychiatry and then looks at the scale of the problem. I liked the layout of the book and sets an excellent example to other textbooks. One part of the book looks at assessment then management then another section of the book looks at management of specific groups, whilst part 5 looks at specific disorders. Part 6 is a fabulous part of the book and is should be a mandatory read for all doctors and healthcare professionals.
It is about “keeping yourself well” and is a wonderful read for medical students as well as for all doctors and contains sensible and excellent support for all healthcare professionals. This section deserves to be widely published and distributed and not confined to this textbook or mental health readership. Finally, there is a little bit about careers in psychiatry in this section as well.
All the usual suspects are covered in the book, but it covers an impressive array of topics and the very good clarity of writing helps the reader, extract the maximum potential from this excellent book. If you want a basic but solid and readable textbook of psychiatry, then this book should be in the reckoning. It represents very good value for money and the only downside of this book is that does not have a web or digital version to enhance portability bundled with the purchase price.
I enjoyed leafing through sections and reading around particular topics. I used it during the review process to look up topics and it did not disappoint. It provides solid grounding in understanding the speciality and learning (or relearning) the basics, plus a little more. Well worth a look at, if you fit the target audience.
Dr Harry Brown