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Bedside Cardiology.
  1. D J COLTART, Consultant Cardiologist/Clinical Director
  1. Cardiothoracic Unit, St Thomas's Hospital, London, UK

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    Bedside Cardiology. Edited by Jules Constant. (Pp 342; $49.95 paperback.) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1999. ISBN 0-7817-2168-7.***

    The fifth edition of Bedside Cardiologyis a refreshing educational read to all training in cardiology as well as established consultants in cardiology and those with an interest in the subject. Dr Constant is Associate Clinical Professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He clearly is an expert clinician. This book has a unique style incorporating what the author calls the Socratic method of teaching. The information is presented very much as a question and answer format for programmed learning.

    Cardiac diagnosis in recent years has tended to become more focused on accurate non-invasive investigations rather than an in-depth precise clinical bedside diagnosis. This book would tend to redress that trend and focus the emphasis again an accurate examination. Anyone teaching medical students or postgraduate students would greatly enhance their diagnostic acumen with a careful examination of this book. The author emphasises many important aspects of a clinical examination and educationally the discussion of false positive and false negative signs that every technology suffers from is particularly valuable.

    I found this a highly educational and exciting book to read. The author has a style which attracts you to constantly read every section and it is very difficult to skim any section for fear of losing valuable information.

    The chapters on the jugular venous pressure and arterial pulses are particularly educational.

    This book is essential reading for all those involved in clinical cardiology, not only to enhance their own diagnostic acumen but also to refresh their knowledge, enabling them to become better teachers of the bedside manner of diagnosing and teaching cardiology.

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