Otolaryngology Cases

Review by L Flood
Middlesborough, UK

Not quite a book review this, more a chance to get access to the many textbooks from this publisher, which has made a unique contribution to the ENT literature. I confess that the first sight of a silver and grey cover always makes me expect a quality piece of work, so I am biased. Well, now one can gain access to the entire Thieme otolaryngology collection on-line, for a fraction of the price of the hard copies. A very small fraction indeed!

It all comes down to whether you are of the generation that can read books off some piece of IT hardware. I laugh to think that, when cameras the size of a fag packet can now mimic the images of a 1970s Hasselblad, folk meeting the Queen must instead carry an iPad to record the event. This is a thing of the dimensions that Moses might have brought down from Mount Sinai and promptly smashed. If you do use such a thing, if your phone is for more than calling home when delayed, if Twitter is not just a dawn chorus from our avian friends, then Thieme eOtolaryngology may well be the thing for you.

I loved the idea, even for IT virgins. To quote the publishers, ‘The site debuts with over 21 500 pages of book content, 34 500 images, 60 step-by-step procedures, 80 cases, 400 procedural technique videos, and an integrated search across Thieme’s journal offerings.’

We all know the quality of the 53 books on offer. The list includes 7 books on facioplastics, 10 on head and neck, 11 on neurotology, and 6 on imaging. Most have been reviewed in JLO over the years. Readers can register for a two-week trial and, if keen, follow up with an annual subscription. The details needed explaining, so I asked the publishers. It seems the end-user model is for the likes of you and me. Obviously, the institutional model is pricier, and the ‘second seat’ is to allow two users simultaneous access.

I had great intentions for my own two-week trial, but it started on the first day of my retirement from whole-time work. Bless them, the publishers extended my time for another two weeks, and I had the best of intentions to download images and prepare lectures, but the deadline approaches and the Powerpoint presentations are more aspirational than finalised as I type this. Living on the edge of the North York Moors, broadband is not the 32 MB that my lads enjoy at Newcastle University, more 32 kB. It’s all to do with being at the end of something called a hub, I gather. The break from work has been wonderful also.

I love to hold a hardback book in my hands, but can just about cope with a Kindle for rail or air travel. Here, for the price of maybe three hardback books, one can get the lot on-line. My successors in 2033 will surely be reading that way on our new HS2 rail system, as they are delayed by signal failures and track work. Some things will never change.

Amazon Link: Otolaryngology Cases
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