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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tariq M. Malik, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: An update of a 2003 edition, this book outlines basic principles of human physiology, pathology, and pharmacology as they pertain to the practice of anesthesia.
Purpose: It is meant primarily for candidates planning to take the postgraduate exam (FRCA part I) in anesthesia in the U.K. and the whole book is oriented around the syllabus of that examination.
Audience: Although targeted at postgraduate students in anesthesia, the book also would be very helpful for medical students doing an anesthesia clerkship. The authors are experienced contributors to the exam and have used their experience to make this a valuable resource for preparation for the primary FRCA examination.
Features: The first of the book's four sections covers topics in clinical anesthesia, including preoperative, induction, and inoperative issues. One chapter is dedicated to clinical anatomy as it relates to anesthesia. The information is basic and deals with common issues in the practice of anesthesia in general, like positioning, hemodynamic variability, issues in the postoperative recovery unit, etc. The 15 chapters in the next section cover physiology of different organ systems, and include chapters on the physiology of pregnancy and newborn. The third section, focused on pharmacology, has 19 chapters covering everything from the basic concepts of pharmacology to the pharmacology of different drugs commonly used in the practice of anesthesia. The four chapters in the last section cover topics related to the laws of physics and include details of different measuring units, a chapter on anesthesia equipment, and a brief discussion of biostatistics. Chapters are concise, well illustrated, and well organized. The text is supplemented well with tables and bullet points. The information is pertinent and to the point, making it practical for its intended use. No space is wasted on theoretical discussion and the book does not delve into detail in any of the topics. It is only meant to be used to prepare for the test. No attempt is made to provide a comprehensive review of anesthesia.
Assessment: This excellent review of the basics of clinical anesthesia provides all the necessary basic scientific information needed for a good understanding of general and regional anesthesia. At the same time, it covers all the basic human physiology and pharmacology of anesthesia drugs needed for the conduct of general anesthesia. Though the book is meant to help candidates pass a specific test, it's broad and current enough for any practicing anesthesiologist to use to prepare for the general anesthesia part of the anesthesia certification exam of the American Board of Anesthesiology (MOCA).