Description: Written by medical students and junior doctors in the U.K., this is a guide to interpreting clinical investigations (referred to as ancillary tests in U.S. parlance).
Purpose: The book is written for junior clinicians to help put all the data in perspective, from when to request a test and how to understand the results. The number of possible tests can be daunting, and learning how to make cost-effective decisions is important, so this is a most worthy endeavor.
Audience: As it is intended for new U.K. clinicians, the units of measure are specific to that country.
Features: The book employs a number of formats, including simple bulleted lists, algorithms, and tables, as well as "Micro-facts," "Micro-prints," "Micro-cases," and "Micro-references." Each chapter has a short section on basic physiology, followed by what the test, radiological series, EKG, etc., will contribute to caring for the patient. I was impressed by the nicely illustrative Micro-cases. There are numerous questions on choice of investigation and interpretation. Mobile access is supported on a number of platforms by Skyscape software, but it suffers when attempting to work on a small screen (the Android version for smartphones resulted in overlapping images, making it difficult to move from screen to screen). However, the presentation on the iPad is quite easy to read. In registering, I found the website confusing and I had difficulty finding this text.
Assessment: For its stated purpose of orienting new U.K. clinicians to how to request and interpret clinical investigations (ancillary tests) it is very good.