Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management
Editors Mark Feldman, Lawrence Friedman, Lawrence Brandt, Raymond Chung, David Rubin and C. Mel Wilcox
Published by Elsevier
I reviewed the eBook (Inkling eBook) version of this mighty publication without reverting to the standard physical textbook. According to the publisher’s website, the printed edition of this book runs to 2488 pages spread over 2 volumes. So, I would guess this represents a fairly large product, taking up a lot of library space. For some people that is ideal, they like the physical feel of a book and you don’t need an Internet connection to use it, whereas other people prefer to embrace the digital version.
The huge advantage of the digital edition is its portability and easy ability to search whilst having the room to accommodate extras. In the case of extras, in this edition there are some nice video clips which may help the reader to learn more and amplify the detailed text. However, the strength of this book (and irrelevant on this point if it is digital or print) is the quality and depth of coverage which is truly excellent. This is a book aimed at the specialist, though a generalist may appreciate its in-depth coverage as a one stop reference point.
The diagrams, illustrations and tables are excellent and a good example of this is in chapter 11. This covers acute abdominal pain which is a great run through of many of the issues a clinician may face in clinical practice. At the beginning of the chapter, there are hypertext links to the various sub sections. So I clicked on to page 151, Acute Appendicitis and it was easy to read an interesting account that was understandable logical and helpful. However chapter 120 is devoted to the topic of appendicitis.
A recent clinical problem, I faced was an a routine abdominal ultrasound request which found a gallbladder polyp as an incidental findings. The issue is what do I do with it? I went to the digital version and typed in Gallbladder Polyp and instantly took me to a designated section on this topic on Page 1073 and all the information I needed plus a management plan was all here. My clinical query was quickly and effectively answered from a reliable source.
There is a huge amount of coverage here and it is detailed, in depth and yet clinically focussed and authoritative. The text is readable and understandable and although aimed at specialists, this book was useful to me as a GP. It provided valuable background reading and I got used to the fact that I was reading from a computer screen (admittedly a large PC screen) and it was no hindrance to learning. There is also an app available to download the contents of the book but be prepared, the 134 chapters which make up the book, to download take up a significant 1.22GB on your smart device such as mobile phone. However, if you have invested in purchasing this product and want to use it on say your smartphone then you will have immediate access to a superb reference source.
The references are also hypertext linked to PubMed entries and there are some topics that are well covered which may not be an obvious entry for this book. A good example is the chapter (7) on obesity which is interesting in its own right. During the review period, I needed to look up on how to make the diagnosis of haemochromatosis (it had the American spelling) not surprisingly, it had considerable detail but an excellent table and algorithm (Figure and Table 75-3). It was all there and most useful, informative and I had no need to read up elsewhere.
Without doubt, this is a fabulous resource on the topics covered by the title. The digital only experience was very positive and for some people this is a publication which I am sure they would want access to on a regular basis. It is not cheap but for the correct person, this digital only offering would be a useful and trustworthy resource to be able to access either on smartphone, tablet or computer screen.
Dr Harry Brown