Description: This is a review book with references to the corresponding subjects in McCloud's Thoracic Radiology: The Requisites (Mosby, 1998).
Purpose: A case review book for the boards exam should consist of typical and some not-so-typical cases with succinct, information-packed discussions. A time saving review of cases should have a predictable pattern of answers including findings, differential diagnoses, and discussion. Images for cases should be well-digitized and well-printed for the best results when weighing studying time versus benefit. Those about to embark to Louisville also want references that are easy to find. This book is a good start at meeting these requirements.
Audience: The book is written for the resident about to embark on the boards exam.
Features: There are about 150 cases that are divided into easy, medium, and challenging. Cases are either typical or differential driven with questions about each case to provoke all aspects of a case: patient presentation, findings, differentials, facts, and treatment. The treatment questions are becoming increasingly important for boards. A number of cases have questions which give away the answers for the case, a format that may not be entirely helpful for those starting to study, or with poor self control. All of the cases have the essential ingredients of answer, differential, and discussion, but not necessarily in that or any order. This format does not equate with reading pleasure but makes reading more time efficient a necessary formula for boards-bound residents. The images are great for CT and MR imaging but chest radiographs are hit or miss in quality. I could discover the finding once I knew what to look for in some of the images. Better digitization of some of these radiographs could have made a big difference. The references that directly use the Thoracic requisites book are very helpful to look up more information on processes that are prevalent in my patient population. The areas at the bottom of the pages designated for notes are of variable length and of limited usefulness for notes due to small size.
Assessment: Overall, this is a good book to have in the arsenal of boards review books, but some small changes could make this a great book for boards.