on 28 January 2004
This book has a slightly unorthodox format, along with the other Crash Course books. If you are not used to the Crash Course Format you shouldn't be deterred.
The book has four sections:
FIRST SECTION: Presentations:
Eg “Global developmental delay” and “Febrile Child”
For example, in the section on “Gastrointestinal Problems” there are subsections, about a page each, on each presenting clinical feature eg jaundice. The subsection then splits the presenting it into various categories eg <24 hours, <2 weeks etc.
This, I found, was an extremely useful section, because it matched disease to presentation, rather than the other way round. It was NOT just a dry list of “causes of jaundice”. There was a definite logical approach via which you could determine the most likely cause for a particular case of jaundice. Moreover, follow up investigations are mentioned. This means that when you mention a cause of jaundice, you are not speechless if the examiners grill you further on it.
I was particularly impressed by the section on presentations of cardiac disease, a more difficult topic.
As it happened, I received about 10 written questions (of about 10 minutes each) in the Final MB exam and the material was sufficient to answer these questions.
My long case was a friendly adult but I would imagine this section would have been useful if for example you had a child with short stature. The material seemed suitable for the sort of questions my colleague got for his paediatric long case.
Despite being presentation based, the chapter headings correspond to those of systems. However, the authors do not forget to mention non-respiratory causes of “Breathlessness” even if it is in respiratory section, the non-gastrointestinal causes of “Failure to Thrive” and so on. The authors are doing your lateral thinking for you!
As in most books there is a set of chapters on Paediatric examination and history taking, plus neonatal exam and developmental exam. The history and exam I had already learnt from elsewhere, so I learnt the neonatal and developmental from this book. The neonatal wasn’t tested but I felt comfortable about it, the developmental was tested in short cases… I think it was OK… I hope J
This is your classical text book description of diseases. I liked the balance of material, eg not too much on the rarer syndromes, but just enough so you get a picture in your head and have something sensible to say.
There is in-depth detail of the trisomy 21, epilepsy, CF etc and the other conditions you are “expected to know”.
Eg epiglottitis, status asthmaticus, status epilepticus. I found this very helpful – the twenty page section you knew you had to know inside out, all in one place (just like the red pages in the yellow oxford handbook).
Well I passed my finals last month, and this was one of the books I used, so naturally there is going to be a positive bias towards this book! I think in this case, my enthusiasm is justified.
on 21 June 2004
The major strength of this book lies in its simplicity. The text is not overcomplicated by surplus facts and makes great use of bullet points. This is accompanied by excellent summary diagrams, although perhaps a little small. I found the system based approach helpful as it facilitated focused reading. In addition the self-assessment section provided the opportunity to measure learning progress. The compact size is advantageous, allowing use for reference whilst on the wards, although some pages were rather cramped. Also, more colour would have been useful. Nevertheless, an extremely useful paediatric textbook, particularly for revision purposes, which could only be improved by addressing the presentation and lay out.
on 29 July 2001
As most of the Crash Course series of books, this Peadiatric edition doesn't fail to deliver. It made the daunting task of approaching my paediatric rotation concise and colourful. It contains all the relevant knowledge for a clinical undergraduate or those wishing to re-jog their memories. Fantastic drawings and well placed case prove that this book is a definite aid to passing exams!