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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Constance M. Gibbon(Columbia Michael Reese Hopsital and Medical Center)
Description: This dictionary gathers words and phrases recently redefined or added to the working language of medicine from a variety of sources. It repeats and continues the author's previous work, the Dictionary of Modern Medicine (Park Ridge, NJ: Parthenon, 1992).
Purpose: The author has achieved his purpose, supplementing the standard medical vocabulary with terms appearing since his previous work, including both widely discussed topics as well as those found to be interesting. Formal, colloquial, enduring, and ephemeral terms are all necessary to understand medicine in its present environment.
Audience: This book is written for physicians but can be used by medical students, nonphysician healthcare personnel, and sophisticated consumers.
Features: There are approximately 17,000 entries. The author's personal observations and comments about some of the terms add an unexpected and enjoyable dimension to the dictionary. Pertinent, authoritative references accompany new entries. Page numbers and fragments of guide words are displayed as easily located negative images. Illustrations are black-and-white; tables are black and gray. Criteria for their content, style, or proportion are not given. Their clarity and usefulness are uneven; sizes vary and necessary internal labeling may be missing. Some illustrations and tables mar the text, and some are placed a column or more away from their appropriate locations. The use of bold type could be limited only to the entry terms themselves to make the text easier to read. The binding will not sustain heavy use.
Assessment: The dictionary is a unique and inexpensive source for definitions of current medically related language, despite its limits. The new entries justify its purchase to supplement or replace the older work. It is a useful addition to a library's reference collection because it provides information not readily available elsewhere.