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This book is the product of an 8-year experience of medical management and emphasises the interface between medicine and management. There are sections on the personal attributes desirable in a manager, the management of time, committees and people and the working of the NHS. A separate chapter on special problems covers mergers, rationing, information technology, risk, audit, complaints and research. The contents are deliberately selective with virtually no attention paid to the contracting process.
The book is full of useful information and common sense for the new medical manager. The writing style is excellent and a pleasure to read and the contents reflect the impact of recent developments on the NHS. There are sufficient references for the reader to pursue his areas of interest. One idiosyncrasy of the author is to refer to medical managers in the female gender, like ships; I was not converted to this practice, as shown by the last sentence.
Petronius made comments about endless change in the first century AD and it will be interesting to see how quickly a second edition becomes necessary to maintain the topicality of this book. At present, I recommend it strongly to those engaged in medical management.