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Examination Paediatrics: A guide to Paediatric Training

Examination Paediatrics: A guide to Paediatric Training. 4th Edition.By Wayne HarrisPublisher: Churchill LivingstoneISBN: 9780729539401 Reviewed by Christopher Mulligan

04 Sep 2011

Examination Paediatrics: A guide to Paediatric Training. 4th Edition.

By Wayne Harris

Publisher: Churchill Livingstone

ISBN: 9780729539401 

Reviewed by Christopher Mulligan

All doctors and medical students studying paediatrics are taught the maxim that ‘kids aren’t just little adults’.  In that spirit, Harris’s Examination Paediatrics isn’t just a paediatric version of Tally and O’Connor’s famous physician-training manual, Examination Medicine, but a comprehensive and useful study manual for paediatric trainees or senior medical students.

The book is too brief to be a comprehensive textbook, and too long to be a quick-access reference for the wards, but the author’s intent was clearly to create a useful examination-orientated study tool.  In this light, Examination Paediatrics stacks up well, and is aimed particularly at candidates of the Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of Physicians (Part 1) Examination in Paediatrics, or for the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (Part 2) Examination in Paediatrics.

The text is designed around a fairly reasonable set of common short and long cases, including many that frequently come up in exam situations.  Being orientated around organ systems, rather than clinical problems or scenarios, the book assumes the reader has at least a modicum of clinical experience in paediatrics, and quickly gets stuck into a level of detail that might turn off the casual reader or more junior medical student.  However, the depth of detail is certainly not superfluous, but rather aimed at questions likely to be asked in the viva voce exam format.

Each chapter is structured around a long case format, providing readers with the important aspects to ask in their history, relevant investigations to order, and some broad principles of management.  The sections on management are comprehensive without being tedious, and where relevant, deal with not only medical issues, but also the full gamut of psychosocial issues that arise with a sick child, like schooling, the family unit and relationships.

The layout of the book is fairly text-heavy, with few pictures, and only the occasional summary-box or diagram to break up the text.  It is clearly focused on exam preparation, and includes an impressive selection of mnemonics and case summaries for last minute cramming.

Examination Paediatrics isn’t the panacea for exam success.  But, along with a comprehensive textbook of paediatrics and a little bit of time and effort, it is certainly a useful tool for exam candidates, and a worthwhile read for students or the interested medical reader alike.

Published: 04 Sep 2011