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Editor: Stephanie Amiel
429 pp. Price £25 ISBN 1-86016-154-5
London: Royal College of Physicians, 2002 .
Horizons in Medicine (number 13), a collection of papers presented at the Advanced Medical Conference in 2001 at the Royal College of Physicians, is an excellent source of information on a wide range of subjects. The 35 chapters range from molecular biology to pathogenesis, and clinical problems common to uncommon. They are concise and clear, and many have good illustrations. For those who like a challenge there are multiple-choice questions (with answers of course) at the end of every chapter. I particularly liked the review on evidence-based treatment of hypertension, focusing on differences—or rather lack of difference—between newer and older drugs. In other sources this kind of information often gets submerged. Other evidence-based reviews of interest to the generalist are those on antihypertensive therapy in diabetes, beta-blockers in heart failure, management of unstable angina and falls in the elderly. This book also contains items on Gulf war syndrome, failed cardiac death (basically this means successful resuscitation) and management of cystic fibrosis. The facts on antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus will worry anyone in hospital medicine. Insights into new developments in medicine are found in: advances in inflammatory bowel disease, progression of chronic renal failure, new insulin therapy, portal hypertension and management of airway inflammation.
For a clinician, there is always a temptation to confine reading to day-to-day practice and ignore the rest. Horizons in Medicine contains the sort of information clinicians in all specialties require for their continuing professional development and revalidation.