Reviewer: Ravi Prasad Avati Nanjundappa, MD, MPH, FACP (Ochsner Clinic Foundation)
Description: Part of the Pocket Tutor series, this handbook focuses on heart disease, providing a simple yet succinct anatomical and physiological review for understanding normal and abnormal function. Disease descriptions are clear and clinical scenarios help to identify commonly seen disorders.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide medical students and interns practical guidance on the approach to patients with common heart diseases.
Audience: The audience is medical students and interns beginning their clinical years. Although the authors mention junior doctors and primary care practitioners, this book is very basic. The three authors have over 70 publications among them.
Features: The first principles chapter clearly explains the key concepts, processes, and structures of the cardiovascular system, with a good focus on cardiovascular physiology. This is followed by a chapter on clinical essentials, which provides an overview of the symptoms and signs of cardiovascular disease, relevant history and examination techniques, investigations, and management options. Disease-based chapters give concise descriptions of all major disorders, e.g. ischemic heart disease, hypertension and heart failure. Each of these chapters begins with a clinical scenario and works its way through a clinical presentation, and puts diseases and biomedical principles into the context of patient care. Innovative graphic narratives make clinical cases easier to discern and shows how to approach difficult scenarios. Clinical insight boxes highlight certain pearls (tips, tricks and key learning points) to remember, which help readers focus on high-yield material. The glaring omissions are in the reference section. It would be useful to include trials and guidelines from reputable societies like European Society of Cardiology/American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology.
Assessment: This pocket book is well written and is certainly handy for medical students in their clinical rotations. Its usefulness can be enhanced by including an accompanying web link to further materials, such as references, guidelines, and landmark research trials.