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Visvanathan and Lumley's MCQs on Surgical Diagnosis provides a useful revision aid for anyone studying for surgical examinations. It contains a good mix of both factual and clinically based questions, which could help in preparing for both the systems MRCS paper and the clinical examination.
The questions are well structured and easy to understand with accurate answers. The accompanying explanations are concise and informative, making it possible to test oneself without a textbook always on hand. However, the cross referencing to the associated text book (Hamilton Bailey's Demonstrations of Physical Signs in Clinical Surgery) is an uncommon but extremely welcome addition to a self assessment text, so that further reading on any of the covered topics is both easily and rapidly accessible.
The topics covered reflect well the day to day conditions encountered in clinical practice, so helping improve diagnostic skills; but also relate reasonably well to some aspects of the MRCS systems modules for written examination preparation.
The only slight shortfall of this book is the lack of pure anatomy, which remains a prominent feature of surgical examinations, although the “scenario based” questions do necessitate both knowledge and application of clinical anatomy, which are extremely relevant to daily clinical practice.
The cost is very comparable to similar books of its nature and, as an accompaniment to other texts and self test books, this publication provides an excellent value for money addition to any trainee surgeon's bookshelf.