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on 22 February 2015
I am a fourth year medical student, and this year we have had placements around many of the specialties in this book. It has provided an excellent reference tool whilst on placement as well as a backbone for me to structure my revision around. The information is complete, but aimed at students and junior doctors circulating on the specialties included. The information is concise, usually limited to a single page per condition, yet still manages to cover every core detail you would need. Despite the dense information provided there are brief sections throughout with little bits of general interest information, advice for students/junior doctors, and anecdotes that help keep revision a little more interesting! I'm not generally someone who buys many textbooks as they are often so expensive, but this is a really practical and useful one to actually own yourself, and will definitely get a lot of use!

Overall, I would recommend this for medical students, as a core revision tool, as something to take with you on placements to have a read of during any spare moments, and as a small portable book to take on residential placements for some compact revision. I would imagine it would be of similar use to junior doctors too, and I will certainly be using mine during my foundation years.
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on 24 April 2013
First off, I gave it 5 stars because I'm rating it against other medical books, and generally oxford handbooks, particularly oxford handbooks of clinical medicine and specialties, absolutely blow most medical books out of the water. So that's 5 stars right there. The book's concise yet always surprising in it's comprehensiveness. I often look up conditions i've read about in an oxford handbook thinking there must be so much more to learn than the paragraph that has been written, but usually i have to read a lot of words in other texts before i find something that really adds to what i already knew.

It is really remarkable like that. Some people complain about the little quotes and sporadic literature references enlarging the text, but i'm sure i'm far from alone in appreciating these as a restbite from what otherwise could be a relentless book; although i think they could certainly be a little less esoteric, they add charm which i think adds an important USP distinguishing it from the standard lists and banality of most medical books.

However, it isn't perfect. By the authors' own admission the one topic per page format is perplexing on occasion, where leprosy gets as much space as lichen planus, or different types of placenta morphology get as much time as secondary amenorrhea. And i always find it annoying when i come across a blank page, there are 5-6 and when i come across one i just feel frustrated that i could have learnt something else.

Also, there really isn't much difference between this edition and the 8th. I was studying gynae at the time and i was bored enough to compare both editions; i was about 6 pages in before i found a difference, and it was minor; but i suppose all books are like this - and it was good before i wouldn't want much to change.

Depsite these small crits, i honestly think i wouldn't have enjoyed studying medicine (i'm now just about to take my finals) as much without this book. The whole time it feels like someone's teaching you in person, and i don't really have any other book like that. This book and the one on clinical medicine are indispensible.
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on 22 July 2016
Being a medical student I bought this to help with revision for my medical written finals and i can safely say this is a great book! It covers all specialities you need and in a good amount of depth, perfect for exams and beyond. The lay out is great and its cleverly concise, even offering some random quotes to change the reading from time to time! When combined with some basic physiology of the diseases this book makes a great revision tool! Highly recommended for medical students!
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on 11 March 2016
Along your medical career as an undergraduate medical student, this book is 99% a MUST when it comes to speciality training. Just like the cheese and onion (Oxford handbook of clinical medicine), its clear, concise and easy to flick through!
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on 2 August 2016
I bought this book once I had used the original green/red/yellow Oxford Handbook. It covers the specialties which aren't included in the main version so is invaluable. Also a great size to carry around on the wards - very good
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on 11 April 2016
I'm a final year medical student in the UK and I would recommend this as a MUST buy. Everyone gets it because it provides an excellent summary to each condition

- Well laid out and absolutely perfect for the specialty years
- Extremely concise
- Covers most things well

- Can be extremely confusing as it doesn't explain clinical conditions. Therefore should be used as a revision text rather than the first thing you turn to
- Occasionally outdated (which is to be expected) due to updates in the NICE guidelines
- Would recommend other books for some specialties: Obs & Gynae suggest RCOG guidelines available online; Ortho & Rheum recommend Churchill's Pocketbook of Orthopaedics, Trauma and Rheumatology, 1e (Churchill Pocketbooks); Breast recommend ABC of Breast Diseases (ABC Series), Paediatrics recomend Illustrated Textbook of Paediatrics: with STUDENTCONSULT Online Access

If this review was useful please click "Yes" below. If not, please comment below and tell me how I could improve it!
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on 26 February 2014
An excellent book for medical students who are on rotations for their respective medical specialties! I look to it for a quick reference when going around in wards or clinics, plus the font size is bearable to the eye unlike in the pocket sized editions of the 'Cheese and Onion'.
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on 17 April 2013
Best and comprehensive. Must study and since it covers all imp topics, it's must know all topics book for medical practitioners.
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on 17 March 2014
This is a very good book and what you would expect from the oxford hand book series. It is pretty thorough although at points can be very bullet point ish. Good book for medical students although usfeul as a quick reference rather than a learning tool.
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on 15 September 2015
Excellent book as always from the oxford handbook series. Haven't found it as useful as the oxford handbook of clinical medicine but i think thats because i started using that earlier on in med school and found it useful to carry around to constantly look things up. But it is definitely a good place to start in terms of psych, paeds, obs and gobs etc
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