Reviewer: Bruce E Jarrell, MD (University of Maryland School of Medicine)
Description: This book introduces medical students and junior house officers to the principles of common surgical conditions.
Purpose: The purpose is to discuss the core knowledge necessary for final exams and MRCS exams in Great Britain. It includes most clinical problems where intervention is necessary and is written at an introductory level for students and junior house officers.
Audience: The audience is medical students and junior house officers.
Features: This is a tenth edition of a well-established textbook. Each chapter has been revised and updated to reflect new developments. There are new chapters on preoperative patient management and surgical strategies. The book is intended to be a syllabus to briefly include all of the important facts of general surgery. In addition to general surgery, it includes urologic, thoracic, neurosurgical and transplantation principles as well. There are 46 chapters. Each chapter is three to 20 pages long. There is a new, unique chapter on surgical strategy, which includes a description of how to present a case as a student. Each chapter covers the basic anatomy and pathophysiology of a disease as well as how to establish a diagnosis and treat that disease. There are occasional tables and figures, and the general principles are stressed.
Assessment: This book accomplishes the general objective of discussing the principles of common surgical problems. It covers core knowledge very well and is particularly good for helping students to organize their fund of knowledge in a useful form in preparation for application of that knowledge in treating a disease. The vast majority of the chapters are well written. The pediatric surgical sections, for example, are very concise. I found them very informative and feel that they would be very useful to students studying pediatric surgical problems. One particularly nice aspect of the book is the inclusion of a differential diagnosis for different sets of symptoms. Another nice aspect of this book is its frequent reference to the origin of named entities in surgery. I found it very informative to know a little bit about the associated physician and date that the problem was described for well-known named syndromes, named diseases and maneuvers. This is a well-assembled book that would be excellent for medical students learning the general principles of surgery.