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This book is aimed at surgical senior house officers preparing for the AFRCS or MRCS. The authors are both examiners for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. The text is well written and the subject matter is suitably broad without entering into unnecessary detail; this is ideal for what is currently required for postgraduate surgical exams.
There is an emphasis on common diseases, which is appropriate, but many pathologically important diseases are mentioned only briefly. The few illustrations are in the form of well-drawn line diagrams.
The format is strictly alphabetical in the form of an encyclopaedia. This results in a number of anomalies, firstly in that related subjects are widely separated. Cross-referencing attempts to mitigate against this difficulty, but is incomplete. Secondly, within the disease-related section, the sub-sections are listed on a strictly alphabetical basis rather than in an anatomical or disease-related order.
It is not clear whether this book sets out to be a reference or an easily readable revision text. It is insufficiently detailed for a reference text and its strictly alphabetical layout results in discontinuity, making it very difficult to sit down and read for revision purposes, even though its size and depth would be ideal for this.