Crash Course: Orthopaedics and Rheumatology

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Summary of review

It has become a habit now, that whenever I am about to start a new rotation, I get the crash course of that speciality. This is because over the years I have learnt that you know what you are going to get. You get a well written book which is halfway between the oxford handbooks and the big chunky Kumar&Clark’s.
The Crash course of Rheumatology and Orthopaedics is no exception, even if it may slide a little more towards the handbook side of things. Each section has lots of little subsections and diagrams, splitting the text up into manageable sections, and the diagrams themselves are clear and easy to interpret. One feature I have found more useful than usual in this book is the glossary at the front, which if read at the start of the rotation means you can understand (parts of) what the doctors are saying! Another section I think is better than some of the other books in the series is the self-assessment section, which seems to contain more questions.
As I mentioned already though, I have found this book to be a little on the ‘basic’ side when compared to some of the others in the crash course series. Although it remains my first port of call when learning about a subject, I am finding that I have to use other sources a lot more. There is also the question of organisation. The book itself is in three main sections, Presenting complaints, specific diseases and then histories, examinations and investigations. As with other book I feel that it should be in the other order, so you understand the basics, layer specific diseases on top and then complete your understanding by working out what can give the presenting symptoms described. However the books organisational problems are also on a smaller, but more annoying scale. Taking fractures as an example (which, let’s face it is the vast majority of orthopaedics). There is a 7 page segment on fractures in general, however to find out information about specific fractures you have to go on a tour of the book, first to osteoporosis, then to the trauma sections. As well as this pictures/diagrams are often not on the same page as is necessarily relevant.  
Do not let this put you off however, I have found similar flaws in all of the crash course books, and yet I still keep buying them. Why? Because as already mentioned you know what you get. The Crash Course of Rheumatology and Orthopaedics is a textbook which is a good first point of call, and a good place to revise from when nearing exams.



Review by Paddy Green
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