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Key Questions in Surgical Critical Care.
  1. R D Sayers
  1. Senior Lecturer in Surgery, Department of Vascular Surgery, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester

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    By R U Ashford, T N Evans, R A Archbold. (Pp 235; £24.50.) Greenwich Medical Media, 2003. ISBN 1-84110-092-7.


    I really liked this book. It deals with most of the critical care topics that come up in surgical MRCS examinations in both an MCQ and viva format. The book is nicely laid out, easy to read, appropriately priced, and about the right size.

    There are a few minor problems including grammatical errors—for example, capillary artery wedge pressure. Occasionally the authors appear very certain—for example, choice of inotropes. Also I didn’t find the cross references to “surgery” very helpful.

    Despite these minor faults, this book was otherwise excellent. I particularly liked the viva questions, which were very comprehensive and supplied with concise answers. Many candidates in the MRCS exam fail because they cannot structure their thoughts to answer the question being asked and this book will help enormously. A word of caution—candidates will still need to read a book on applied surgical physiology as this is a separate subject and not covered here.

    Overall I am glad I’ve got this book and use it regularly for MRCS teaching.


    • The reviewers have been asked to rate these books in terms of four items: readability, how up to date they are, accuracy and reliability, and value for money, using simple four point scales. From their opinions we have derived an overall “star” rating: * = poor, ** = reasonable, *** = good, **** = excellent.