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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Barbara C. Woodring, RN, EdD (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
Description: This book is one in a series of six volumes of "dictionaries of quotes" published within the last decade. This volume contains stories and/or quotations related to topics of interest to healthcare professionals.
Purpose: The purpose is "to provide all classes of medical people, as well as the non-practitioner who has an interest in medicine, with a volume of unaltered quotations" and a book that is "attractive in appearance and of convenient size" for a desktop reference. Although broad-based and pertinent topics appear to be outlined in the table of contents, the editors fall short of providing multiple references for a number of these topics. I was disappointed to find only a few brief quotes for many topics listed. The editors specifically refer to illustrations that have been included to "provide visual interpretation of some of the quotes." I was also disappointed to find very few illustrations included, and those presented are frequently placed some distance from the actual quotations. Therefore, in evaluation, the editors' objectives have been minimally met.
Audience: The book is directed at dentists, physicians, and nurses, as well as non-practitioners, and could be used by any of the intended audiences. With all of the information available online it is questionable that this volume would serve a widespread audience. However, certain types of learners, who are more comfortable handling the printed manuscript rather then technologically-based text, may find this book of help in providing illustrative materials for speeches or papers. The editors have prepared similar volumes related to other scientific professions. Neither has a health-related education or practice background.
Features: The content is covered topically with the inclusion of 1500 quotes. The illustrations, though few in number, are well done and easy to understand. There is an extensive bibliographic listing of authors of the quotations, although many have been taken from the same secondary reference source. The index of authors and topics is user-friendly and complete. The major shortcoming is the lack of quantity and quality of quotations related to certain topics.
Assessment: It is difficult to compare this volume to others. A similar book may exist in each of the healthcare professions; however, there is not another text that spans the interest levels of the lay public and the professional, so from that standpoint it is unique. The glossy cover is attractive and the spacious page lay out makes it easy to read. The true value of this text is questionable.