James C. Eisenach, M.D., Editor

Review of Clinical Anesthesia, Second Edition. By D. G. Silverman and N. R. Connelly. Philadelphia, Lippincott-Raven, 1997. Pages: 288. Cost:$39–95.

This book parallels the new third edition of Clinical Anesthesia (Edited by Paul G. Barash, Bruce F. Cullen, and Robert K. Stoelting). As the editors of Review of Clinical Anesthesia state in their introduction, “the multiple-choice questions in this text can be used as a means of self-assessment prior to taking a written exam.” To stay short: This task is perfectly achieved. The multiauthored book is a compendium of six sections leading from an introduction of basic principles of anesthesia practice and pharmacology to preparing for anesthesia, management of anesthesia, and to post-anesthesia and consultant practice. Each section is divided by chapters (57 in total) ranging in length from three to six pages. Chapters start with questions following the same style as in actual examinations. Thereafter, answers to each questions are provided as are complete explanations to the correct answers. Moreover, a page and heading reference is added that refers the reader to the appropriate section in Clinical Anesthesia. With this and other anesthesiology-related publications, Review of Clinical Anesthesia also is available on CD-ROM.

The questions in every chapter seem to be selected carefully to match the chapter headline as close as possible and are mostly relevant, as are the explanations. Thus, redundancy has been successfully avoided, and the choice of a topic for self-assessment is made easy among the wealth of chapters. However, it appears that a compromise had to be made between relevance for clinics and relevance for board preparation. As such, from a clinician's point of view, some chapters (airway management, obstetrical anesthesia, pediatric anesthesia, regional anesthesia) would deserve more attention, which means more questions. This would further promote the second task suggested by the editors, “to focus reading of the novice and the expert and help to assess self-mastery of most relevant material.”

In summary, for those readers preparing for an examination and using Clinical Anesthesia as one of their main sources of an anesthesia textbook, Review of Clinical Anesthesia is an ideal companion to check their knowledge and to find a quick reference for any necessary brush-up materials.

Walter Klimscha, M.D.

Department of Anesthesia; University of Vienna; Vienna, Austria