Description: This is the 12th edition of a classic Lecture Notes book on general surgery, supplemented this time by a website with a question and answer bank. Each of the 47 chapters is devoted to a single surgical problem or region (e.g. shock, the spine), and the selective use of clear and lucid diagrammatic illustrations enhances the text. The previous edition, published in 2006, was ready for update due to rapid developments in the field.
Purpose: The authors note that the book is geared for medical students, but is not intended to supplant a standard textbook. Rather, it is designed to draw together the fundamentals of general surgery in a logical way. There is clearly a need for this book and it admirably meets the authors' objectives.
Audience: Medical students are the appropriate audience for this book. Students will find it concise and readable, an excellent guide to more comprehensive texts. The three authors are all highly respected surgeons.
Features: The book spans the entire gamut of conditions encountered during a general surgery clerkship. Bulleted points and clear color illustrations enhance the text significantly. Because the book is written by three authors (rather than multiple authors) it maintains a clear, lucid voice throughout and minimizes overlap/omissions.
Assessment: This readable, concise yet solid book stands in stark contrast to other pearl books or survival guides for surgical clerks. Students can read this book and learn the basics, attaining a fundamental level of knowledge on which they can build. As it is a British book, U.K. spelling is used throughout, but this should not deter U.S. readers. The new edition is amply justified and should be welcomed by the next generation of students.