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Gastroenterology. 2nd edition. Edited by Travis SPL, Taylor RH, Misiewicz JJ. (Pp 505; illustrated; £29.25.) UK: Blackwell Science, 1998. ISBN 0632048875.
The first edition of this handbook was a valuable resource to both junior hospital staff and family doctors for its practical coverage of basic gastroenterology. In the seven years since it was first published, there have been many advances in gastroenterology and these have been included in the new edition, which is a rapid reference book which the authors hope will be of interest to doctors and health professionals in clinics, accident and emergency departments, and wards.
Covering a wide range of topics, including the various aspects of hollow organ gastroenterology, liver, biliary, and pancreatic disease, the book also contains chapters on nutrition and the gut in systemic disease, areas of interest to the more experienced reader. There are also sections on essential procedures for those involved in the preparation of patients, and a comprehensive chapter on gastroenterological emergencies which should prove invaluable in accident and emergency departments.
The breadth of coverage is impressive for such a small book although some parts lack depth. However, the authors live up to their promise to include recent advances in all areas and supply a comprehensive selection of further reading for those requiring more detailed information.
The style is dogmatic and didactic and, in conjunction with clear algorithms, presents information in the clear, concise manner essential to a rapid reference text. There are few radiological and pathological illustrations but they are of good quality and are accompanied by line diagrams to aid their interpretation.
The book aims to be a rapid and comprehensive reference tool for a wide audience of health professionals. This new edition easily achieves this and will undoubtedly continue to be useful in surgeries and wards for those who work in gastroenterology but have limited practical experience of the specialty.
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