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From The CriticsReviewer: Dunya M Atisha, M.D. (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)
Description: This is an excellent source of updated, authoritative, and concise information on diseases encountered in general surgery and the surgical subspecialties of otolaryngology, urology, gynecology, orthopedics, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and pediatrics. It is most noteworthy for its appeal to a broad range of providers including students, trainees, and attendings. The previous edition was published in 2006.
Purpose: The book is designed to provide quick recall of diagnostic features and descriptions of surgical disease processes followed by approaches for definitive diagnosis and treatment. Each chapter's discussion is concise yet loaded with important facts about the disease process, which is particularly useful for surgical residents who want a brief and quick reference for the diseases they see in patients on a daily basis. This is also useful for emergency room or primary care physicians who are faced with patients with surgical diseases and who need to know how to work the patient up. The book meets these objectives well by organizing the information in a manner that makes it easy for physicians to find what they need. Furthermore, the discussions are concise and to the point making reading of the chapters easy, enjoyable, and informative.
Audience: Students, residents, medical practitioners, and practicing surgeons are the intended audience. Although this is a handy reference for all practitioners, its usefulness for practicing surgeons is likely limited to the surgical subspecialty chapters. On the other hand, it could serve as an excellent resource for practicing surgeons who are reviewing basic information for the American Board of Surgery recertification exam. It is certainly useful for medical students, residents, and practitioners as a quick and concise reference to help understand and manage all kinds of disease processes. It is somewhat less useful for surgical chief residents who should be able to come up with a detailed, comprehensive plan for operatively managing a patient with a particular surgical disease process. Dr. Doherty is a respected and well-published surgeon with extensive experience in endocrine surgery and general surgery. He also has served as the program director of the surgical residency program at the University of Michigan.
Features: The book covers general medical and surgical topics important to the management of surgical patients. Chapters also cover surgical subspecialties that often appear on the boards, such as otolaryngology, urology, gynecology, neurosurgery, and cardiac, thoracic, transplant, pediatric, and plastic and reconstructive surgery. New to this edition are discussions about training, communication, professionalism, and systems-based practices. These topics are all competencies of the ACGME, therefore it is appropriate that they are part of this comprehensive surgical review. The book is well written and organized - its best features. Furthermore, it appears to pay special attention to the anatomy, embryology, and pathophysiology of surgical diseases, which is important for junior level surgical residents who are studying for the junior ABSITE exam. The biggest shortcoming of this book is that there is less focus on the operative management of surgical disease and more focus on the work-up, which is why it may serve junior residents better than chief residents. On the other hand, this book is not intended to be a surgical atlas or operative technique book.
Assessment: This is a wonderful resourceful for all levels of surgical practitioners as well as nonsurgical practitioners. In my experience, it has provided me with a framework to prepare for both oral and written boards. In terms of its content and illustrations, I would say it is not quite as good as Current Surgical Therapy, 9th edition, Cameron (Elsevier, 2008). On the other hand, this book is shorter and easier to read, which renders it possibly more useful for those who simply need a book to refresh their knowledge. Revisions are needed in order to keep the treatment modalities up to date.