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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jay B. Prystowsky, MD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This book is intended to serve as a source for medical students for describing the fundamental principles in the surgical specialties that every student should master.
Purpose: The stated purpose is to provide a readable textbook for third- and fourth-year medical students in which all the important principles of the surgical specialties are presented in a concise, organized fashion. The text achieves this purpose admirably in that the book is clearly written at the medical student level.
Audience: The audience for this text is third- and fourth-year medical students.
Features: Each chapter follows a similar format in that assumptions as to the student's knowledge base are made, objectives for the students are clearly defined, important technical skills are emphasized, a brief reference list of established sources is noted, and study questions are provided. The illustrations, tables, algorithms, and photographs are of satisfactory quality and complement the text well. The text does not attempt to be all inclusive; uncommon entities are generally not discussed. The type is large and easy to read. The writing is clear and well organized. The editors believe that the length of the book should allow students to read it within six weeks. However, at 400 pages, it is doubtful that most medical students can read this text in that time frame.
Assessment: This is an excellent summation of the important principles of the surgical specialties. The format is useful for students in helping them to prioritize the fundamental points of each specialty. It is a useful adjunct to undergraduate surgical education.