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Training in Anaesthesia the essential curriculum, 1st Edition. C.Spoors and K.Kiff (editors).

. Published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. Pp 672; indexed; illustrated. Price 49.95. ISBN 9780199227266 Drs Spoors and Kiff should be commended for the audacity of what they have tried to achieve with this text, a single volume that encapsulates the primary FRCA syllabus. Written with junior doctors in mind, this book should easily achieve a wider readership. The book is just shy of A4 size, printed on high quality paper with a typeface that is easy on the eye. The diagrams are clear and well-labelled. On the whole, photographs are well reproduced with a few exceptions. It begins with the authors explaining out their aims and hopes for what the book will accomplish. The contents can be broken down into three overall sections basic clinical anaesthesia, bodily systems and anaesthetic sub-specialities. Each chapter is organised according to specific blocks of the syllabus within those areas, with topics presented in single and double page spread formats. I have no doubt that the organisation of the book will be greatly appreciated by trainee readers, both novices unsure of where to start reading, but also those with looming exams seeking a structured framework on which to base revision. Clinical anaesthesia chapters are structured to follow a patients journey through the theatre environment, beginning with pre-operative assessment to the anaesthetic room and operating theatre, culminating in recovery. In these topics the primary candidate will find most of the information needed for the physics and measurement portion of the exam, key principles are concisely explained in a highly readable fashion, something that is lacking from some of the older physics textbooks. Also covered are the basic skills a novice will need to become familiar with quickly in order to achieve their basic competencies, for example, potential hazards at induction and recovery problems. Perhaps the best example is the section on neuraxial blockade, which gives a clear list of advantages/disadvantages, indications/contraindications and excellent descriptions of different approaches supplemented with well-labelled diagrams. The chapter on regional anaesthesia, although written well regarding upper and lower limb nerves, wouldve been better served including ultrasound diagrams as well as standard schematic / photographic representations The coverage of bodily systems is probably where this book comes into its own, each system being divided into anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, disease entities, investigations and forms of monitoring (where applicable). These chapters show off, to a greater degree that previous ones, the most appealing feature of the book, colour. The vast majority of pages are enhanced by superb illustrations; many are also peppered with tables giving useful examples, clinical pearls and important exam facts. Although

anatomy covered is limited to that which is clinically significant, the physiology entries deftly straddle the line between general principles and knowledge that is specific to anaesthesia (which is often difficult to find in standard texts. Anaesthetic subspecialties are covered briefly; approximately twenty pages each, and whilst nowhere near definitive, give a good grounding to new trainees.

Important and frequently examined topics that have been excluded include basic chemistry, mathematics, pharmacodynamics and general pharmacokinetics (although there are a few specific entries for key topics - TIVA and TCI are covered quite well). A few others are only sparsely covered, electricity and magnetism for example. Ultimately, these areas of contention are few, and can easily be accounted for by the sacrifices that have been made to keep it readable, portable and, overall, applicable to daily practice. Overall the book is highly commendable, especially given the daunting task it tries realize. With outstanding illustrations, a well covered, concisely written and understandable breadth of information and very reasonable price tag, it will make a fine addition to any departments library and will likely come to be known as the anaesthetic Kumar and Clarke.