Review of Clinical Anesthesia, 5th Edition. Edited by Neil Roy Connelly, M.D., David G. Silverman, M.D. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009. Pages: 315. Price: $64.95.
The amount of relevant information in our specialty continues to grow, and mastery of all aspects seems at times a daunting task. There are numerous general and subspecialty journals continually publishing the most current happenings in research, and that which has staying power and becomes accepted knowledge eventually makes it into our textbooks. Selecting resources for learning seems a difficult task, and reading and mastering the content of just one textbook seem even more difficult.
The authors of Review of Clinical Anesthesia , 5th Edition, have created a tool to aid the student and reader as he or she navigates through the various topics in our specialty. This is a question book that parallels the textbook Clinical Anesthesia , 6th Edition, in a chapter-by-chapter format.1Each chapter of questions is a complement to a corresponding chapter in Clinical Anesthesia , with full explanations of the answers and references to the location of the material. The questions are generally well written and are good representations of the content of the parent text. The chapters are not too extensive, each one being easily finished in one study session. This makes its usefulness even more attractive to the resident balancing a hectic work schedule with a regular study schedule. The authors suggest that the book is most useful if used as a pretest and posttest while reading Clinical Anesthesia because questions may reveal what content the reader has mastered and what should be reviewed. Similarly, they suggest that the book can be used in preparation for the anesthesiology written examinations because the multiple-choice and K-type formats are similar to those found on the In-Training Examination, the Anesthesiology Knowledge Tests, and the Anesthesiology Written Board Examination.
Because learning styles are highly individualized, some students may not prefer this text format. The concise content of each chapter makes review of a broad topic, for example cardiac anesthesia, not quite as simple; one would want to have completed the chapters Cardiovascular Anatomy and Physiology, Echocardiography, and Anesthesia for Cardiac Surgery at a minimum before considering this topic reviewed. Because most residents study from multiple sources and the explanations only cite the accompanying text, it might not be the best review book for last-minute preparation for the written examinations for all residents.
Nonetheless, the book is an excellent review. With more than 1,000 questions, it can serve as an excellent complement to other review material in preparation for the boards. An even more appropriate role of this book is for routine study not only throughout residency but also well after. Reading the larger textbook can be difficult, and using the review along with it in a regular study schedule would likely improve the learning curve for the student at all levels of training. Therefore, for the anesthesiology community that selects Clinical Anesthesia as their “go-to” reference text, I highly recommend selecting Review of Clinical Anesthesia to fully complement the learning experience and aid them in the mastery of one of our most revered resource textbooks.
Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, Arizona. email@example.com