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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Muoi A. Trinh, M.D.(University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This is the fourth edition of an overview of a broad range of topics in anesthesia in a question-and-answer format. The book is well suited for rapid test preparation and, as such, should be most useful to medical students and residents. It presents high-yield information in a manner that allows for rapid assimilation, but its strict reliance on the question and answer format limits its utility as a reference - and it is best used as an adjunct to the more structured curriculum provided by a basic textbook.
Purpose: Although not explicitly described as clinical review book, this has become a trusted study guide for residents and medical students preparing for exams, which no doubt is the intent. The authors have largely accomplished their goal and the book is an excellent resource for test preparation covering a broad range of essential - and testable - clinical information in a format that lends itself to both individual and group study.
Audience: While the book is intended for "anyone interested in anesthesiology," it would seem most helpful to medical students preparing for their clerkship and shelf exams, as well as residents preparing for in-training and board exams as a supplement to a formal anesthesiology textbook. The format is ideally suited to interrupted periods of study, such as would occur during clinical downtime, as it provides brief nuggets of information organized around a central theme.
Features: The book is roughly divided into chapters, each containing series of questions followed by concise but detailed answers organized around a central clinical topic. Among the many topics addressed are the basics of pharmacology, monitoring, perioperative considerations, comorbidities, and subspecialties in anesthesia. Chapters use a question and answer format that covers essentials of each topic in some detail. Each question/answer pair takes about five minutes to absorb and an entire chapter can be read in no more than 30 minutes to an hour. Although the book's organization is well suited for rapid test preparation, its strict adherence to the question and answer format can make its treatment of each topic somewhat abrupt and disjointed. As such, it is best used as a study aid in conjunction with a more structured and organized textbook. Many useful figures and tables throughout the book compare and highlight important concepts. Additionally, each chapter contains a key points box that recapitulates and reinforces salient facts.
Assessment: This book serves its purpose as a review by providing succinct and high-yield information on various topics in anesthesia. Overall, it compares favorably to other anesthesia review books as it makes excellent use of its question/answer format and provides sufficiently detailed answers and useful illustrations.
(David B. Glick, MD, MBA (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine) collaborated on this review.)