Books, Multimedia, and Meeting Reviews: Book Review
The journey of a surgical patient from preoperative preparation to return to baseline health and function is complex, and it presents a wide array of challenges both medically and operationally. Outcomes and patient throughput are influenced by preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care by a myriad of providers. As anesthesiologists build the surgical home, training programs and continuing education endeavors must emphasize the aspects of surgical preparation and recovery. Although several textbooks and a wealth of primary literature exist on the topic of perioperative medicine, Perioperative Medicine for the Junior Clinician is an easy-to-read resource for clinicians at various levels of training.1
Perioperative Medicine for the Junior Clinician is a succinct, high-yield entry point into perioperative health. Written primarily by Australian clinicians from a wide number of specialties and institutions, the book provides an overview of key topics in perioperative medicine. Whether used as a primary text for medical students on their clinical anesthesia or surgery rotations, or for practicing clinicians as an on-the-fly reference, the book meets its proposed purpose of informing on the assessment of perioperative patient care issues and treatment.
What defines a junior clinician? The foreword suggests that the junior clinician is “often the first point of consultation in the perioperative period.” Thus, the junior clinician requires a breadth and depth of knowledge to identify risk factors, recognize evolving emergencies, and escalate care when necessary. In reality, the perioperative provider may be a trainee or a trained clinician from one of the many disciplines within the medical field. For this reason, the text is relevant to a broad readership that may include respiratory therapists, pharmacists, nurses, midlevel providers, and physicians.
The more than 100 chapters are organized into distinct sections: principles and practices of perioperative care; preoperative risk assessment; laboratory investigations; medication management; specific medical conditions and complications concerning surgical patients; postoperative care; and pain management. The authors included Web-based content, specifically, reference appendices: clinical cases that delve into assessment and management as well as interpretation of laboratory and perioperative testing. The e-book and print version contain links to multimedia content that bolsters the educational potential of the publication. The print edition has quick response codes throughout the chapters for easy access via mobile devices to the Web-based media.
The very approachable text adequately summarizes the topics presented, but not at the depth required for comprehensive preparation for board or in-training examinations. The chapters provide a reference-annotated primer for in-depth exploration of the topic summarized. The presentation of the material covered in the text avoids cognitive overload through well-written prose and a focus on key points. Tables and figures are to the point and they highlight relevant data. Although easily transported in a workbag, the print version was unable to fit into the pocket of my laboratory coat. With each chapter only being a handful of pages, this portable text may serve as a valuable accompaniment to a morning coffee break. Similarly, educators may find the text and online materials valuable for preparing mini-lectures and problem-based learning discussions during busy clinical days.
With regard to shortcomings, the e-book has been released for use solely with the Adobe Digital Editions application, which, in my opinion, is unfortunate. Although the platform ensures digital rights management for the publishers, its clunky function and multistep registration limit the reading experience. Having accessed the text via the application on both my tablet and desktop computer, I can say that the reading experience of the application is definitely suboptimal. The Adobe Digital Editions application is incredibly clunky and slow as pages are scrolled. Online reviews of the Adobe Digital Editions application similarly highlight these loading issues. The e-book provides hyperlinks and quick response codes that enable rapid access of the Web materials. Access is then enabled through entering a passcode obtained from the textbook. The online media and cases are hosted via a companion site that does not use the Adobe Digital Editions application, which avoids the issues of the application.
In summary, Perioperative Medicine for the Junior Clinician is a concise primer of perioperative medicine, and it provides a practical resource for many clinicians and allied health personnel who care for patients in the surgical pathway. I would recommend purchasing the print version and using the quick response scanner on a mobile device for fast access to the high-quality Web-based content. For now, I would avoid the e-book version because it hinders one of the strongest attributes of the book: a quick and easy reading experience.
David M. Dickerson, MD
Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care
University of Chicago
1. Symons J, Myles P, Mehra R, Ball C. Perioperative Medicine for the Junior Clinician
. 2015.1st ed. Chichester, UK: Wiley Blackwell.