Description: This multiauthored book is study guide for clinicians planning to take the sleep medicine board exams.
Purpose: According to the editor, the purpose is to help guide students studying for sleep medicine board exams. It is not meant to be a comprehensive textbook of sleep medicine. The goal, a laudable one, is to summarize highlights in the field. The reader is encouraged to seek out the major sleep books as well as gain clinical experience working in a sleep lab. Readers familiar with the clinical material will better appreciate the wealth of information contained in these pages and will be better able to use the book to prepare for the boards.
Audience: The targeted audience is clinicans planning to take the sleep medicine board exams. I've given a copy to my sleep research assistants to provide them with the basics of sleep and anticipate that they will find useful the chapters on polysomnograph recording, instrumentation, artifacts, and sleep staging. The contributing authors are a credible group.
Features: The book consists of two main sections: highlights of sleep medicine and practice exams. The first section summarizes the major aspects of sleep and sleep disorders; succinct text is complemented by many illuminating tables, figures, and lists. The second section accounts for over 60 percent of the book and provides practice questions and answers, explanations, and pertinent references. As alluded to above, the technological sections are particularly valuable. Reference lists at the end of all chapters are current through 2000 (I noticed at least one 2001 citation). The third section, "valuable resources," is really an appendix of lists compiled from the Internet, including professional sleep organizations, fellowship training programs, and CME and patient education materials. There also is an appendix on "sleep scoring basics." A list of abbreviations used in the book is provided at the beginning and a detailed index at the end rounds out the book. Given the emphasis in sleep medicine on sleep apnea, the next edition should devote a chapter to it. More on periodic limb movements and parasomnias also should be included as we expand our knowledge about these disorders (which means potentially more exam questions about them). Perhaps a polysomnogram and MSLT could be included in an accompanying CD-ROM.
Assessment: The editor explains that her intent in writing this book was "to help people preparing for boards in the same way that I would like to have been helped." Her dream seems to have been realized this is a thorough and complete sleep board review compendium. It is also a good refresher for those already certified. It's been almost two decades since I completed the boards I wish the book were available back then, too!