Review by David E J Whitehead
There are not many classic compact textbooks for the niche subspecialty of rhinology, but this may become one of them. At first glance, you might assume this is ‘Pasha’ the bestselling pocket guide, feverishly thumbed through by many a specialist registrar as they approach the exit exams. Inheriting a similar style to Pasha, this textbook crams as much information into a small format as to almost qualify as a ‘miniature book’. Such books became popular around the Middle Ages so that they could be carried easily and concealed from prying eyes. These days such concealment is also known to the rhinology consultant you are trying to impress! If that’s your game, then good luck and keep staring at Google on your smartphone.
For those that still enjoy the feel of a physical book, Senior and Chan have managed to pull together a leader in this field, boiling down the salient points of rhinology into bullet points. If long prose is not your cup of tea, then this may be just the fact-filled miniaturised tome you have been looking for, although, for me, 562 pages of lists, on first inspection, appears quite daunting.
The book follows a logical, structured format and allows the reader to quickly grasp the entirety of rhinology, in a way that is difficult to achieve without investing heavily in a number of larger texts. Beautifully constructed, colourful textbooks have a place, and Rhinology and Allergy fills a need at the other end of the spectrum.
Although only slightly cheaper than some of the heavy-weight tomes in rhinology, Senior and Chan have managed to put together a text that is superior in usability compared to its rivals, by way of its compact size. It is no doorstop, and because of its compact format you can flick through huge swathes of rhinology in an instant.
It is always a challenge when putting together such a comprehensive text, and, with so many authors, it is even more challenging to determine the level of detail, repetition, and the number of diagrams and photographs to include.
The black and white photographs and diagrams lack a little of the je ne sais quoi of other colourful print text, and certainly some of the photographs lack contrast or annotation and would benefit further from this. In any case, perhaps this may be missing the point of this welcome little book.
In summary, this is a great book for trainees wishing to take the next step and purchase a dedicated rhinological text. Its physical size makes it very user friendly. More seasoned surgeons will be delighted by its no nonsense format, and possibly see it as an aide-memoire during those senior moments.
Amazon Link: Rhinology and Allergy: Clinical Reference Guide
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