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Dr. James A. Mchugh "Jim McHugh"
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Alarm Bells in Medicine: Danger Symptoms in Medicine, Surgery and Clinical Specialties
Alarm Bells in Medicine: Danger Symptoms in Medicine, Surgery and Clinical Specialties
by Nadeem Ali
Edition: Paperback
Price: £32.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book, 21 Dec 2012
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This is a very useful book. I my opinion it should be required reading for all medical students and junior doctors, and should also be of interest to experienced GPs and consultants.

Each specialty has a single-page list of around 10 readily memorable red-flag symptoms or signs which should alert the doctor to the possibility of serious pathology. Concise explanatory notes then expand on the significance of each item, and give clear instructions on how to investigate or refer as appropriate.

Each section is written by two or more consultants or experienced registrars with relevant specialist expertise, and the whole book is well-edited, with a consistently readable style throughout.


Basic Sciences in Ophthalmology 2e: A Self Assessment Text
Basic Sciences in Ophthalmology 2e: A Self Assessment Text
by John Ferris
Edition: Paperback

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars essential reading for part 1, 26 Feb 2004
An ideal textbook for part 1 MRCOphth - and doubtless for equivalent basic sciences examinations in other countries.
This is nominally an MCQ book, but in fact contains sufficient information to be used as a textbook for revision in its own right.
The book has sections covering all the main areas examined in part 1, including ocular anatomy, neuro and head and neck anatomy, genetics, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, ocular physiology, general physiology, and statistics. Note that several of these subjects (eg head and neck anatomy, general physiology, and statistics) although extremely brief in Ferris, are not mentioned at in most other basic sciences books.
In spite of the foreword by David Easty, which insists that this text 'cannot be regarded as a short cut to the process of learning from text, lectures and practical experience', I would suggest that, on the contrary, candidates have passed part 1 relying heavily on this book. (Although if this is the only book you look at, don't be 100% surprised when you fail! I'm not suggesting that it is perfect, and it certainly contains one or two factual errors).
The main advantage of the book is its brevity - it covers a very large amount of factual information in under 500 pages, with little or no unnecessary detail, while still being relatively readable. It is therefore ideal for candidates who find themselves with a lot to learn and not much time left. It is quite feasible to learn the entirity of this book, cover-to-cover, which I think candidates of normal intelligence would find very hard to achieve with most of the larger texts.
I would however recommend that if you have more time available, you buy larger books to supplement this one - as most people know, Forrester is an excellent reference book, and is the main revision textbook used by most candidates for Part 1... although you may find it rather dry and not very readable in parts. Perhaps a sensible solution would be to read through Forrester first, then refer back to it when Ferris isn't clear on a particular area.
I would also definitely recommend Snell's outstandingly accessible 'Clinical Anatomy of the Eye' - Ferris is far too brief on ocular anatomy, which is after all a subject you need to know pretty well if you intend to be an eye surgeon.


Shogun Total War: Classic Range
Shogun Total War: Classic Range

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding epic, 23 July 2002
Make no mistake, this game is a classic - it's the sort of game that starts a genre.
It's based on a hugely ambitious concept - large, 3D battle fields, with hundreds of troops behaving in a semi-autonomous fashion, appearing to react as individuals to the situation unfolding about them.
The graphics allow some amazing epic Kurosawa-style scenes - you can vary the camera angle, and pausing the game at the right moment can leave you stunning pictures as, for example, clouds of hundreds of individually targetted arrows rain down on an enemy formation, or as the massed regiments of your heavy cavalry smash into their rear.
In addition, the mechanics of the game have been well tuned, so that soldiers really do seem to behave realistically - as in real battles, an intervention at a critical moment can prove decisive, and it's very satisfying at the end of a desperate, hard-fought battle to see your enemies' morale collapse so that they flee in disorder. (It's a bit like watching TV footage when the mounted police charge into a riot, creating shock waves as everyone jostles to get out of the way - exactly as it would have been on a real medieval battlefield)
There are one or two shortcomings, which I hope will be ironed out in future versions - in reality, a routed force would suffer very heavy casualties compared with their pursuers, but unfortunately you often find your light cavalry, who out to be ideal for this role, getting mysteriously annihilated by dispersed enemy troops. Also, there seems very little point in using any of the traditional Japanese formations available in the game - not least because neither the manual nor the hints & tips book actually bother to explain them properly. Anyway, simple lines of archers and spearmen, with cavalry on the flanks in the European style, works far better.
Also, diplomacy in the game is frustratingly slow and pointless - it's impossible to do anything interesting, like demand tribute, organise coalitions or attacks between other clans etc.
Grumbles aside, it's a brilliant game, and I would thoroughly recommend it.


The Quantity Theory of Insanity
The Quantity Theory of Insanity
by Will Self
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Self's best work, 1 Dec 2001
Hilarious, particularly to those with some experience of mental illness & its care - & I must applaud Self's groundbreaking invention of the 'triple-blind trial'.
Intellectually stimulating, and full of Self's characterstic wit.
To the reviewer who said "so what?",I don't think there is meant to be a simple unifying message in this book. What you get instead is a series of semi-linked scenarios, each bursting with ingenious observations & thought experiments.


Symptom Sorter
Symptom Sorter
by Keith Hopcroft
Edition: Paperback

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars v useful for students too, 1 Dec 2001
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This review is from: Symptom Sorter (Paperback)
The book has an excellent format - for each presentation, it lists a differential diagnosis, divided into common, uncommon & rare conditions - unlike other books I have seen on differential diagnosis (eg Churchill pocketbook), which do not distinguish between common & rare conditions. (This will be particularly useful for medical students - we are always being told that 'common things are common' but don't have the practical experience to know which the common diseases are!)
Each presentation has a table of key clinical features to distinguish between the 5 commonest diagnoses.
The book also lists investigations in order of importance, & has hints & tips, plus 'red flags' indicating serious pathology. It is clearly written and not unduly long - it could comfortably be read in a couple of days.
Although aimed at GP's, I'm sure the book would prove immensely useful to clinical medical students, & I will be recommending it to other students at my medical school.


One Renegade Cell: The Quest For The Origins Of Cancer (SCIENCE MASTERS)
One Renegade Cell: The Quest For The Origins Of Cancer (SCIENCE MASTERS)
by Robert A Weinberg
Edition: Paperback

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent intro for non-medics & also my revision!, 23 Oct 2001
As a 5th year medical student, I have a slightly different perspective on this than I would as a non-medic, but I'm sure many general readers, particularly those with a personal involvement with cancer, will get a lot from it.
The book starts pretty slowly, with Weinberg explaining some basics about cells, cancer etc., for the benefit of the general reader. I found this a little off-putting, in case the book might turn out like Susan Greenfield's contribution to the science masters series, which never rises above the most mundane level & reads like a 1-page magazine article throughout. Instead, however, Weinberg launches into a competently written overview of all the main areas of cancer genetics.
Although Weinberg explains each main concept as he uses it, there are many throw-away references to medical conditions that he cannot describe adequately for reasons of space. The technical bits may at times seem rather dry & tedious for the general reader. However, as a medic, I am well-used to tedious technical detail - if you think any part of this book is boring, you should see how it's taught in medical school!
Not only was the book interesting, and full of evocative insights (eg that the body can be seen as a city of semi-autonomous cells, or the way he portrays metastatic tumour cells as pioneers setting off towards almost certain destruction in an alien environment), but for me it was also useful for revising half-understood, mostly-forgotten material I was taught three years ago - I only wish our pathology teachers had bothered to explain the subject as simply & logically as Weinberg does. (I found myself saying things like 'oh! so THAT'S what the p53 gene does! why didn't they just tell us that?)


Saunders' Pocket Essentials of Clinical Medicine
Saunders' Pocket Essentials of Clinical Medicine
by Anne Ballinger MD FRCP Dr.
Edition: Paperback

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent, apart from the apalling editing, 13 Aug 2001
The content and length of this book is excellent -it is one of the few textbooks of internal medicine which is short enough for the average student to want to read it cover-to-cover, while still being reasonably reliable. It is uniquely well suited to 1st, 2nd or 3rd year students trying to get a grip on new subject areas, and is also useful as a concise summary later on.
My only significant criticism of the content is that the sections on presenting complaints at the beginning of each chapter are rather undersized - compare with the extremely detailed way in which the (less reliable) Mosby books approach the same area.
However, my main criticism is that the editing of this particular edition really lets the book down. You get a feeling that the book was rushed into print before this job had really been done. There is no list of topics at the beginning of each chapter, as you find in the Oxford Handbook, and the index is rather limited.
A particularly annoying feature is the way in which the sub-headings are virtually indistinguishable from the main headings - if you're flicking through the book rapidly, it makes it quite hard to spot where one disease ends and the next one begins. In my own copy, the printing quality is also variable, with some pages blurred and hard to read.


The Thin Red Line [VHS] [1999]
The Thin Red Line [VHS] [1999]
VHS
Offered by pkeylock
Price: £1.94

5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars extremely over-rated, 28 Nov 2000
OK, this film does have good points - it's beautifully shot, has plenty of Hollywood names (some reviewers appear to think this is important) and it's good that it focuses on the emotional impact of combat.
BUT none of these factors can possibly make up for the total lack of realism throughout the entire film. Can you really imagine the soldiers on Guadalcanal sent their whole time explicitly pondering 'is this the dark side of human nature' and perpetually gazing at their own navels? Why do so many of the characters sound like philosophical middle-aged film directors? How come actual autobiographical accounts of WWII, which are sometimes highly emotionally charged, are nonetheless totally unlike this film? There are people who defend Malick's preference for philosophy over realism as if the two were incompatible, but I totally disagree. Real war already contains all the moral dilemmas and emotional turmoil you could ever want, and then some, without resorting to this sort of stylised nonsense. Do we really need to be shown the contrast with life in an indigenous village to realise the uncivilised, savage, miserable nature of warfare?...
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American Bar: The Artistry of Mixing Drinks
American Bar: The Artistry of Mixing Drinks
by Charles Schumann
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad, 12 Oct 2000
Not a bad book, and has many cocktails of Schumann's own invention that I hadn't seen before. However, he leaves out a very large number of cocktails that all barmen should know, apparently for the reason that he doesn't personally like them - perhaps customers asking for these drinks are to be humiliated into buying something more acceptable! He also spends an inordinate amount of space at the back of the book simply listing (without really describing) ingredients. The most annoying problem with the book is the index - looking up an ingredient in the index will take you to a page in the ingredients section where you are told ...that it can be used as an ingredient! without any mention of which particular drinks it's used in!


The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (Picador)
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (Picador)
by Oliver Sacks
Edition: Paperback

28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, 12 Oct 2000
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This is a truly brilliant book, and one of the main inspirations which caused me to enter medicine in the first place. I agree with the Welsh reviewer that the amount of technical jargon in the book might frustrate a non-medic, but remember, these are genuine neurological patients being discussed in medical terms that would be of interest to both the specialist and general reader - the reason that the book is so universally readable is because of Sacks' wonderful empathy and determination (partly inherited from the great Russian neuroscientist Alexander Luria) that patients should be managed and documented as people first and cases second - a view which is sadly far from universal among neurologists. For those interested by this book, the work of V.S. Ramachandran addresses many similar issues (including bizarre stories to tell your mates in the pub!)


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