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This text is a new member of a large series of books dealing with the various medical sub-specialties. The three authors include a London university hospital specialist registrar and two provincial district general hospital gastroenterologists. This is probably about the right sort of balance and the approach is factual and didactic without being overwhelmingly academic.
The layout is as an encyclopaedia with topics from abnormal liver function tests to Wilson's disease. To get the best out of the book it is probably best to consult the table of contents before the index.
Most of the chapters are quite readable short monograms on the topic, but some degenerate into rather off-putting lists, such as in jaundice and the classification of gastritis. Chapters mainly address specific diseases though some relate to symptoms.
Candidates for the MRCP could be assured of being reasonably up to date having read through this book and this is clearly its principle aim. Physicians who are not specialists in gastroenterology may also find it useful. However, it was sad to see the solecism repeated in 1999, that gallstones are the prerogative of the middle aged.
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