Medicine And Books


BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 20 April 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1047
  1. Alex Paton

    More than 270 scientists from the 50 countries that make up the World Health Organisation's European region have collaborated in Concern for Europe's Tomorrow (WHO, ISBN 3 8047 1406 4). It is an impressive blueprint for action on every aspect of environmental (public) health, including food and drink, housing, pollution of all kinds, and accidents, and highlights the many areas that need urgent attention.

    At the instigation of their students, Cornelius Katona and Mary Robertson of the department of psychiatry at University College London have produced Psychiatry at a Glance (Blackwell, £9.95, ISBN 0 86542 873 5). A large format paperback of only 40 pages, in which each aspect of psychiatry is clearly set out in a summary chart and a page or two of text, it is a tour de force.

    Apart from the dedicatee there are no medical doctors among the all American contributors to Community Rehabilitation Services for People with Disabilities (Butterworth-Heinemann, £35, ISBN 0 7506 9532 3). But the wealth of hands-on advice (though at times jargon ridden) underlines what one writer describes as the rehabilitation revolution of the past 20 years.

    Two well produced texts from Mosby have complementary themes. Ethical Foundations of Health Care (£9.95, ISBN 0 7234 1873 X) is divided into a quite tough philosophical section written by Jane Singleton, a philosophy lecturer, and an account of the more familiar contemporary ethical dilemmas by Susan McLaren, a lecturer in nursing. In Spiritual Aspects of Health Care (£9.95, ISBN 0 7234 1955 8) the Reverend David Stoter encourages health professionals to take on a wider role not only in helping patients face the emotional consequences of different illnesses but also to consider their own needs.

    Doctors and engineers in the United States have combined to bridge the gap between themselves, and indeed between different medical disciplines, in New Frontiers in Medical Device Technology (Wiley, ISBN 0 471 59189 0). It is broadly divided into the uses of microwaves, lasers, and imaging, and doctors will find the medicine simple but the engineering rather tougher. Even so it is thoroughly readable.

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