Review of Clinical Anesthesia, David G. Silverman and Neil Roy Connelly, editors. Philadelphia: JB Lippincott, 1995, ISBN 0-397-51209-0, 268 pp, $39.95.
Knowing where to start or what information is pertinent to learn is often problematic to the resident or novice anesthesiologist. This review attempts to address this issue. This 268-page guide is designed as a companion to the larger 1672-page text Clinical Anesthesia, second edition, by Barash, Cullen, and Stoelting. Review of Clinical Anesthesia contains 900 questions arranged in a chapter format that parallels Clinical Anesthesia.
The individual questions are single-best answer type questions, followed by the correct answer and a concise paragraph review of the material. The questions cover a wide range of topics from the basic (mechanisms of general anesthesia, electrical safety), to the more specialized (cancer therapy and anesthetic implications, anesthesia for organ transplantation). Including K-type questions would have been beneficial for those individuals preparing for written examination. However, the review provided in the answers was very informative and often highlighted the "take-home message" of the topic. The focus is certainly not just knowing the right answer, but rather obtaining an understanding of the subject matter. The design of this review was well thought out by the editors. The parallel chapter layout facilitates referencing to the more comprehensive Clinical Anesthesia text, should a more thorough review of the issue be desired. Providing the page number in the accompanying larger text would have added to the ease of cross-referencing. Although graphs and illustrations were lacking, their absence did not hinder the ability to convey the material. Some questions address minor topics that are unlikely to be found on a board examination, but were apparently included to provide a comprehensive review.
This book is an excellent, encompassing review of anesthesia. This reviewer would have appreciated its use during residency as a study guide after reading chapters in the larger text, in order to self-test the subjects presented. At $39.95, it is certainly affordable to residents. This book would also appeal to those interested in continuing education. Certainly this review is a welcome supplement in the study and practice of anesthesia.
Bonnie L. Milas, MD
Department of Anesthesiology
University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283