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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Elizabeth Connor, MLS, DM/AHIP(The Citadel)
Description: This book is a well-organized, formatted, and referenced collection of medical quotations and clinical descriptions for practicing physicians, medical students, and medical historians. Edward J. Huth is the former editor of Annals of Internal Medicine and T. Jock Murray is former Chairman of the Board of Regents of the American College of Physicians. The first edition of this work was published in 2000.
Purpose: This book's stated aim is to use medical quotations to demonstrate how "some medical concepts and practices have developed and changed through generations and how others have remained remarkably constant." This work's title is particularly significant in that it refers to "medicine in quotations" rather than "medical quotations," a distinction that differentiates it from typical quotations works.
Audience: Readers interested in the history of medicine, clinical practice, and related fields will appreciate this work. Libraries that collect medical quotations books should purchase it.
Features: The typical entry includes the attributed author, date of the quotation or excerpt, quotation or excerpt, source title, and a reference number than can be used to locate the full source citation in the author-title index. Entries are arranged alphabetically by topic (anatomy, informed consent, lead poisoning, pain, etc.), and chronologically within topic sections. The author-citation index is excellent. The subject index is thorough and useful.
Assessment: One of the work's editors (Edward J. Huth) contributed quotations to Maurice Benjamin Strauss's Familiar Medical Quotations (Boston: Little, Brown, 1968). Readers seeking clever quotations for talks or party chatter may prefer Jess M. Brallier's Medical Wit and Wisdom: the Best Medical Quotations from Hippocrates to Groucho Marx (Philadelphia: Running Press, 1993), or Peter McDonald's Oxford Dictionary of Medical Quotations (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004). This work is unusual and different from typical medical quotations books in that it emphasizes original, historical descriptions of diseases (achondroplasia, Crohn disease, Klinefelter syndrome, etc.), which are of enormous value to medical professionals and students. The editors admit the preponderance of quotations related to internal medicine and neurology, their own specialties, which will be apparent to various medical specialists, but does not detract from the overall value of this fine work.