Edited by Robert Tasker, Robert McClure and Carlo Acerini
2nd Edition Published 2013
Published by Oxford University Press
Coming from the impressive pedigree of the Oxford Handbook series, I was very much looking forward to reviewing this book. I certainly was not disappointed as it is a superb review of the subject and can be worth its weight in gold. This book is ideal for GPs and their registrars as well as paediatricians working both in the hospital and community. It is certainly more than a just a handbook as it is packed with over 1000 pages of excellent information which is accessible and easy to read, just like other members of the Oxford Handbook series. Despite the relatively small proportions of the book, it packs in a lot of topics and provides very helpful clinical information as well as covering common and not so common subject areas.
In case you are not familiar with the Oxford Handbook series, the books have a tough vinyl external cover which improves the durability and as well as being accessible, they are relatively portable. The Oxford Handbook of Paediatrics can also easily be stored in a bookshelf without taking up too much room or a lie in a consultation desk ready to be quickly interrogated. It can have many purposes; it can act as a quick reference source, answer a clinical query or quickly read round a specific subject or subsection of a specific topic. For many standard clinical queries, it can often make a significant contribution to solving a clinical query.
I am a practicing GP and I could easily use this as a sole paediatric reference source for my work in general practice. The layout is either in short paragraphs or simple bullet points which lends itself to fast reading, allowing the user to quickly absorb the information. Like other books in the Oxford Handbook series, it is full of practical and helpful information useful to helping a specific patient with a specific problem. It is very clinically orientated and physician friendly. Impressively it seems to be quite comprehensive and covers a wide subject area. Of course it is not an encyclopaedic textbook of paediatrics, you will need much larger works but for its size, it offers an impressive array of knowledge.
It is excellent value for money and if paediatrics is a significant part of your clinical workload, then I suspect you will be very happy with this book. The only minor criticism I have is that there is no e-book bundled with the purchase price. However, for some people this is not a big issue and I am aware that many people still prefer to leaf through a paper book. Despite the lack of an electronic version bundled with the price of this book, it is still an excellent and very readable practical paediatrics book.
Dr Harry Brown