Clinical Procedures in Primary Eye Care (3rd ed.)
David B. Elliott, ed., Philadelphia, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann; 2007. $79.95.
This third edition of Dave Elliott’s Clinical Procedures in Primary Eye Care is described as having been “written primarily as a teaching aid for … optometry students and for practitioners wishing to review their clinical practice.” With that goal in mind, the contributors and editor have produced a very well organized, direct, simply written, meticulously indexed textbook. Their attention to detail is remarkable, as evidenced by a segment on tips for monocular examiners performing retinoscopy. Given the high prevalence of ocular anomalies among optometrists and optometry students, this kind of practical advice would be most welcome.
Following descriptions of procedures, there are segments of practical advice for the student or practitioner written in a lovely, informal, conversational tone. The reader feels as if the editor is speaking directly to him or her! The “most common errors” segment included after the description of each procedure and its interpretation is clever and would be most welcomed by students. The sample examination form could serve as a blueprint for the new or establish practitioner setting up paper or electronic health records. Additional noteworthy features of this newest edition are an icon that alerts the reader to the availability of video clips and photographs posted online plus the availability of centrally located color photographs within the book itself. Of course, the book purchaser has to register for the website access, but that process seemed conventional, on brief inspection.
What does this book not contain? It is a primary care textbook; therefore, it is not the definitive source for such topics as assessment of infants, low vision care, or staging of diabetic retinopathy, nor does it need to be. The reader seeking those kinds of detail will undoubtedly know of other sources more appropriate to those areas of emphasis.
The authors are British. The book is British. Spellings like “edema,” “naevus,” and “neutralized” and dates that list the month first will stop the American reader briefly, but the text is still interpretable. Similarly, any text along these lines suffers from the many conventions for abbreviations and acronyms. For example, is one taught to abbreviate exotropia as “XOT” or “XT” or esophoria as “SOP” or “EP?” These are minor concerns, none of which is insurmountable. The practical value of the text and accompanying advice far outweigh these minor “translational” issues. To quote George Bernard Shaw, “England and America are two countries separated by the same language.”
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University