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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Carol Scott-Conner, MD, PhD, MBA (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)
Description: This updated edition of a classic review book replaces a previous edition that was at least five years old. Keyed to one of the standard comprehensive surgical textbooks, Schwartz's Principles of Surgery, 9th edition (McGraw-Hill, 2010), by the same authors, this review contains more than 1,100 board-style questions with answers and lavishly illustrated explanations appropriately referenced to specific sections of the textbook.
Purpose: The purpose is to assist trainees in learning material from the main textbook, as well as to prepare surgical residents to take the American Board of Surgery ITE and to help fully-trained surgeons review prior to taking qualifying and recertifying examinations. The book admirably meets these objectives. The questions are clear and deal with significant issues, rather than minutiae. The explanations are clear and lucid, and it is easy to get additional information by going to the textbook (because appropriate sections are referenced).
Audience: The book is written for students of surgery. It will be particularly helpful to those in general surgery training programs, to general surgeons facing their board exams or recertification exams, and to all those subspecialty trained surgeons who must first qualify in general surgery and maintain their certification.
Features: The contents span the entire gamut of general surgery, with chapters organized in a standard format. The book uses a split-page design, in which the questions appear on the left half, and answers on the right half of each page. Readers can thus easily use a folded piece of paper to cover the answers until they're ready to review, and each question can be reviewed immediately without paging through the book. The book is lavishly illustrated throughout with well-chosen shaded art and radiographs. Questions refer back to specific pages and figures or tables in the parent textbook where additional information is provided, facilitating deeper study of an issue. Each chapter is divided into basic science and clinical questions, so readers can pick the section of interest.
Assessment: This is a really high-quality review book. Because the questions are thoughtfully written to address truly significant information, working through them (and obtaining the immediate feedback of reading the answers) provides a comprehensive overview of the field of general surgery. Rapid advances in the field clearly make this new edition, keyed to the new edition of the textbook, necessary.