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What do examination candidates turn to in the days before their examination? Often to a book of lists. This, however, is a different book of lists. It is divided into three sections, of which the main part takes on an interrogative style. It picks over 100 disease entities or groups—some broad, such as nystagmus or rubeosis, and others more specific, such as pars planitis or Stickler's syndrome. Each area is defined and the clinical features described. There then follows a question and answer section in which the virtual examiner has questions answered by a model candidate. This feature is very much the strength of the book. The questions focus on presentation, pathology, and management of patients. In such a short book it is impossible to get a comprehensive view of all the conditions, but the strength of this section is that it points to the core elements that should be considered in any answer and helps draw together the multiple strands of knowledge already present in the candidate's mind.
The two sections either side of the core of the book are equally useful. The first deals with examination techniques and methods. It has strong sections on anterior and posterior segment examination. Equally useful are the two chapters on ocular movements and strabismus examination, often areas in which candidates feel they lack confidence in performing in front of an examiner.
The last section takes the reader back to a more conventional list format. There is an excellent chapter on genetic disorders and useful ones on the eye and general medical disorders.
In all an excellent book to concentrate the examination candidate's mind in the final preparations for the examination. Criticisms? Although each subject in the centre section is illustrated, the small illustrations are not always of the best quality or show the most relevant feature of the topic under discussion. The text would also benefit from further illustrations in the section discussing fluorescein angiography and in the extended discussion on interpreting electodiagnostic and colour vision tests. However, the final comment on this useful text should go to the examination candidate I enthusiastically offered my review copy to: “I've already got a copy, thanks”—the model candidate's answer.
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