Letters Failure of modern textbooks

Memorable textbooks

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c2857 (Published 28 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2857
  1. Anthony Papagiannis, respiratory physician1
  1. 1St Luke’s Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
  1. antpap56{at}otenet.gr

    Medical textbooks were not always as dreary and as bland as they are now.1 Two examples of lively, first person didactic tomes that come to mind are Bailey and Love’s Short Practice of Surgery and J L Burton’s Essentials of Dermatology.2 3

    Bailey and Love has plenty of footnotes explaining all the eponyms in the text. Essentials of Dermatology contains pearls such as, “The Lord Privy Seal is neither a lord, nor a privy, nor a seal” and “‘seborrhoeic’ warts have no relationship to seborrhoea.” Elsewhere it explains: “The simultaneous occurrence of scabies in a doctor and a nurse may mean that they have shared nothing more exciting than a patient with Norwegian scabies.”


    Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2857


    • Competing interests: None declared.


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