DJ. Field and J. Stroobant CASE STUDIES IN PAEDIATRICS Baltimore, Maryland: Urban and Schwarzenberg Medical Publishers, 1984, 82 pages, $11.50
This reviewer is very prejudiced. Being a clinician, I love practical, clinical problems rather than the many theories of medicine. To become an adequate clinician one must have basic theoretical knowledge and the authors of this text often achieve this.
The authors briefly present 80 clinical cases and ask a number of questions following each case. Two pages later, so that one cannot see them, are the answers.
Some of the cases are fairly common, for example, barbiturate intoxication, glomerulonephritis, cystic fibrosis, Down's syndrome, and hepatitis. Other cases however, are seen infrequently and are fairly rare. These include Rotter's syndrome, Menke's syndrome, abetalipoproteinemia, McLeod's syndrome, and mestocytosis. In general, the cases are good and the selection shows great variability so that no one sub-specialty is favored.
This reviewer does not agree with all the answers given by the authors. This is similar to clinical practice where sometimes two or more excellent specialists disagree; sometimes the actual answer only becomes apparent at a later date.
The foreword of this book is written by Professor CBS Wood, who is at Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children in London. He states that ". . . many of the questions are difficult and all require careful thought, for none are easy." The authors state that the "cases presented should be valuable in these areas: as a starting point for discussion with examination candidates, as a practice for candidates studying alone, and as a basis for general discussion and approach to clinical problems in any teaching situation."
I recommend this volume to ail involved in clinical pediatrics. The clinician may not agree with all the answers given but seldom do two people agree on answers given to a complex case.