Reviewed by Dr Harry Brown
Edited by John Wass and Katharine Owen
Oxford University Press
By now most of us should be familiar with the Oxford Handbook series which seem ever growing and regularly updated and they continue to expand. If you want to see who is in the family check out http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/nav/p/category/academic/series/medicine/oxhmed.do? This book is the third edition and is new to 2014. Like all the Oxford Handbooks, they are compact and well protected with their vinyl covers allowing regular use without the book falling apart. Indeed this book deserves regular use and like all its stalemates is a practical source of information, wisdom and advice. Even better consider this two textbooks in one, albeit that diabetes and endocrinology are associated disciplines. As always the information is tightly laid out in lists, tables and short paragraphs and is densely fact packed. All ideally set out to manage a patient you are about to see or in front of you. Since it the new edition is published in 2014, it is well up to date.
Pleasingly the coverage in both endocrinology and diabetes is pretty comprehensive and is useful to be both junior and senior hospital staff as well as GPs. Even so, despite the excellent and good depth coverage, the book remains a portable and accessible volume. I used it in primary care both as a reference source, particularly trying to sort out a patient problem and reading for interest. Its readability and ability to get straight to the point were for me the highlights. From a general practice perspective, I tended to use the diabetes sections probably more than the endocrinology sections but that should not detract from the latter. In fact there were some gems on the endocrinology section covering areas that are sometimes not always easy to find. For example, there is a super section on Amiodarone and thyroid function. Both endocrinology and diabetes are common issues in general practice. Hence this book has much to offer primary care.
In the endocrinology section, there is an excellent section of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), this nicely summarises current practice and thinking in few short pages. This is ideal for a GP registrar or an established GP wanting to get up to speed in this therapeutic area.
There are also topics covered that you may not expect, for example near the end there is an excellent chapter on obesity which impacts on a great deal of everyday practice. Again it covers the theory and practical in a readable yet summarised format.
All in all this is an excellent, well priced book which can be most useful in everyday clinical practice.
Dr Harry Brown