William D Carey. Published by Saunders (Elsevier Australia), 2010. ISBN 978141606643. Contains 1376 pages. Price AU$109.80 (special online price)
Competition is good for business and a new medical textbook certainly focuses the mind. The authors of second edition of the Cleveland Current Clinical Medicine have successfully applied new ideas by creating this hybrid online and hard-copy textbook.
Written by staff employed at the Cleveland Clinic it maintains a cohesive and compact format. It is certainly readable cover to cover for medical students or health professionals preparing for medical examinations.
The current text consistently sees itself as only one part of the hard-copy/online framework. Each chapter refers to online resources, international guidelines, and is also available on the publisher’s website. All chapters are short—3 to 4 pages on average—focussed and the book is comprehensive by covering several social topics, dermatology, psychiatry and preventive medicine.
Compared to one of the standard text at our institutions, Kumar and Clarke’s Clinical Medicine, it appears to be more conservative in its use of colours, diagrams and ‘ask the author’ hints. Some may find this less distracting. The structure of chapters is in strict alphabetical order and naturally based on American classification of diseases. For example, Asthma is found in Chapter 1 under Allergy and Immunology, Venous Thromboembolic disease is found in Chapter 2 under Cardiology, whereas most other respiratory topics are found in the Pulmonary chapter. This chapter includes lung cancer, although several other cancers are under chapter haematology and oncology. This of course is of no relevance if one does indeed use the search engine of the online version.
Compared to the online module Up-to-date, the online version of this textbook is slow, and scrolling of the text is difficult as every section of a chapter is loaded independently. However, context is well integrated to the hard bound copy and it is part of purchase of the price and doesn’t need to be purchased separately.
Altogether, this is a comprehensive resource which provides an alternative for students and other health professionals to standard texts. I can recommend this medical textbook for learning, revision and as reference standard.
Respiratory Physician, Respiratory Medicine