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Doody ReviewsReviewer: Carmine M. Volpe, MD (University of Maryland School of Medicine)
Description: This book is designed to teach clinical surgery in a question and answer format. Now in its fourth edition, it was previously published in 1996.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a comprehensive, yet to the point, easily accessible surgical reference the gives students the opportunity to learn a large body of information in a brief period of time. This noteworthy objective which is often pursued, but rarely attained, is fulfilled with this book.
Audience: The authors have brought together a credible group of contributors whose vast expertise has resulted in a book appealing to medical students as well as practitioners.
Features: In less than 350 pages, this book covers all the material typically presented in the medical school curriculum surgery clerkship. Its 102 chapters span the gamut of surgery ranging from how to prepare for a surgical rotation to issues concerning medical ethics and healthcare reform. The heart and soul of the book lies is its unique method of teaching by asking questions. Each chapter consists of a series of key questions followed by its answer and a brief discussion. A limited but up-to-date bibliography is at the end of each chapter. Answers are equipped with mnemonics, tables, and time-honored pearls of wisdom. The book also tackles controversial issues, presenting the pros and cons. Lacking is an adequate number of figures and illustrations.
Assessment: This book can make studying surgery fun for students. Immediate access to the information and "on the spot" learning propel this book to the front of the class. The book is amazingly thorough and well researched. The authors believe the best way to teach is to question and they have extracted and compressed "need to know" information into key questions and answers illuminating a pathway through the forest. This edition is completely updated and expanded. Its small size and paperback format offer an easy to carry feature not available with the standard hard cover, two-volume surgical textbooks. Students can expect to shorten their learning curve with this book.