Views And Reviews

Anaesthesia A to Z

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 15 January 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:212
  1. S M Willatts,
  2. J Thiagarajan

    This book has primarily been produced to help candidates for the part III fellowship examination grapple with the extensive breadth of required knowledge by using a dictionary format. The idea is to provide ready access to information on physiology, pharmacology, anatomy, physics, statistics, history, clinical anaesthesia, equipment, intensive care, medicine, and surgery - a gargantuan task. Topics are arranged alphabetically and range from the general to the specific (from adrenal gland to adiabatic change and from renal failure to reptilase time).

    The information is up to date, practical and clinically relevant. Some of it will no have changed over two decades whereas in intensive care medicine, for example, this month's answer was last month's question.

    It is doubtful that an examination candidate will obtain maximum benefit from the book without already having considerable back ground knowledge of the topics selected. For such readers what it mainly offers is a new way of organising information that is already available. The dictionary approach and excellent cross referencing allow quick checks of information and direct the reader to the most recent and comprehensive references on the topic. This is the book's main strength. Many candidates preparing for an examination, however, would prefer a more logical approach to learning, which is not obtained when molecular weight is followed by monitoring, monoamine oxidase, and Monro-Kellie Doctrine. Anaesthetists in general and examination candidates in particular may, however, find Anaesthesia A-Z valuable as a spot check for their current knowledge.

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