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From The CriticsReviewer: Willem J de Villiers, MD, PhD, MHCM (University of Kentucky College of Medicine)
Description: This is the second edition of a basic one-volume textbook covering the full breadth of practice-based gastroenterology. Using a standard format, it draws from an impressive array of international contributors to cover pertinent, current topics in the field. The first edition was published in 2005.
Purpose: The book provides a current overview of gastroenterology-hepatology from a broad sample of expert opinion. Focusing on conciseness, the book includes illustrations, photos, and easily-accessible electronic content such as surgical videos and management protocol charts to supplements text. Given the importance of visual information to gastroenterologists and the pace of change in the field, this update is justified. Overall, this text effectively meets its stated goals.
Audience: It is clearly directed at any practitioners in the field of gastroenterology/hepatology. However, due to its concise nature, it provides more cursory treatment of its subject matter than it does in-depth analysis. Therefore, its educational value primarily will accrue to medical students to early fellows. However, the visual aids, diagrams, and online treatment algorithms, videos, and multiple choice questions will be of benefit to even the most advanced practitioner. The impressive group of international contributing experts lends a high level of credibility.
Features: Divided into four sections, the book covers clinical symptoms and syndromes, diseases of the gut and liver, established diagnostic tools, and current therapeutic options. Although the review of clinical symptoms and syndromes leads to some repetition later in the book, it does provide a helpful approach for early trainees when they are faced with a specific clinical scenario. The standard approach used in each chapter (with color-coded boxes for essentials of causation, diagnosis, and treatment), extensive photos, diagrams, algorithms, and extensive material available on its website are the strengths of this book. Regardless of training level or years in practice, these supplements provide an educational benefit that few comprehensive books offer. It does not, however, provide an exhaustive review, and the coverage of basic science principles is sparse. Each topic is addressed with limited depth, and readers should be encouraged to consult the up-to-date references for more detail.
Assessment: This remains a worthwhile addition to the now extensive libraries of gastroenterology trainees and practitioners. Although it lacks the depth and basic science coverage provided by Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology/Diagnosis/Management, 9th edition, Felsman et al. (Elsevier, 2010), or Textbook of Gastroenterology, 5th edition, Yamada et al. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), its use of clinically relevant visual aids, algorithms, MCQs, videos, and online material helps it to establish its own niche in the arsenal of GI textbooks.