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Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Neurological Differential Diagnosis

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 25 March 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1263
  1. David Shooman, ST1 neurosurgery, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton
  1. shooman{at}

    John Patten, a former consultant neurologist, first produced this timeless text in 1977 in an attempt to make neurology less intimidating to the beginner. It was one of the first medical books to convey complex concepts in a digestible and understandable form by combining skilful illustrations with case vignettes and thumbnail sketches of illnesses. He cites Biological Drawings by Maud Jepson (1938), Bedside Diagnosis by Charles Seward (1949), and Frank Walsh’s Clinical Neuroophthalmology (1947) as the eclectic mix of medical classics that influenced his unique approach.

    It seems unlikely that any book could be recommended in equally effusive measures by neurologists and neurosurgeons alike, but this volume invariably appears on the bookshelves of both groups. Often revered as the …

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