Reviewed by Dr Harry Brown
Edited by Jay Keystone, David Freedman, Phyllis Kozarsky, Bradley Connor and Hans Nothdurft
Published by Elsevier Saunders
It’s surprising how many specialities intersect with travel medicine. Interestingly at the back of the book on the cover, the shelving classification is designated as infectious disease. That may seem sensible but you could also classify this book under primary care, general medicine or you could argue that the title of this book should be entitled to a specialty with the same name. In my humble opinion travel medicine is entitled to be considered a specialty in its own right.
So step forwards this book which offers the possibility of being a good reference source for all things travel medicine. It achieves this aim extremely well. It is well produced and a pleasure to read and possess and is very easy to dip in and read any of the content. Despite its relatively modest size (just over 550 pages), it is pretty substantial in its coverage and includes topics of interest that I have rarely seen elsewhere. For example on Page 261, there are clear directions on how to manage diabetic medications (oral and injectable) when crossing time zones.
Glancing through the list of contents, all the main areas are covered in good enough depth of detail to be of value to a front line practitioner. I would suspect that this would be ideal for primary care and despite the array of global contributors it is relevant to practice in this country. In fact dipping in and out of this book is actually quite enjoyable as well being educational. The editing is of a high standard and the text is easy to read and importantly is written from a practical perspective. Good examples are a chapter on motion sickness and jet lag. However I could not find anything a specific section devoted to fear of flying, though searching the electronic version did find some references.
Glancing through the table of contents, it is amazing how many areas and topics there are to cover. There is a really interesting chapter on medical tourism and I had never heard of bariatric tourism until I looked at this chapter.
This is an excellent reference source that contains words of wisdom which covers an area of medicine which can sometimes get lost on the radar screen. It is undoubtedly very useful for these questions that are thrown at us when faced with a patient with a travel medicine issue. Fortunately the cost of the book comes with web access and app access and both are helpful additions. The book is a little pricey and this may put some people off but if you are looking for a helpful travel medicine textbook, this is a good port of call.
Dr Harry Brown