PACES for the MRCP (MRCP Study Guides) Paperback – 3 Jun 2003
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-This text is certainly of great value to anyone who is preparing for MRCP part 2, and also for clinical undergraduates. The easygoing narrative and use of bullet points and figures allows its wealth of information to be effortlessly extracted.- James S Dawson, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, Hospital Medicine, August 2003
Top customer reviews
In my opinion this book is better than the Ryder text. It treats each station comprehensively and in a logical format. The problem with the Ryder books are that they are very haphazard. The books jump from one topic to another, almost as though you are reading what came into Ryder's head next!
Baliga doesn't have many pictures (as noted in many of the reviews under that book) and is far more theoretical than the Hall and Ryder books.
As noted in previous reviews, Hall also gives some detail to the communication and ethics station compared to either Baliga or Ryder.
It's slightly unfair to compare the Hall book to Ryder and Baliga as Hall has the definite advantage of having been published later and so can respond to how the Paces exam has developed.
Having said this, buy all four books (this, the two Ryder and Baliga). They all have different detailed examples in them and it's important that you get as wide a variety of examples before taking the Paces. As noted above, there aren't enough books out there currently for Paces candidates to pick and choose books.
Anyone want to write one?
Looking through the book is a visual delight and there is lots of excellent information there.
However, what it sells as its biggest strength - lots of tailored background information - is also its greatest weakness. It seems that relatively little attention is given to the record of signs. It is the case record in Ryder which absolutely nails it as the best textbook in converting your clinical examination into a coherently structured and succint report to the examiners.
I give you an example - look at the record of signs for Mitral stenosis in the hall book. What you will find is that the signs are described in the form of a cartoon of a patient with arrows pointing to different parts of the patient. Well, all of the signs are there but its not readily apparent how you actually say it outloud. In fact to practice you actually have to write it out yourself. Ryder gave you a perfect record everytime. Hall gives you lots of background info on some cases but it is highly unlikely to be of any use in the exam. In my PACES exam time was so limited that the examiners simply didn't have time to go into more sophisticated background. Thus you can spend a lot of time reading Hall and not actually focus on what you need to. The stations begin with you examining the patient to recognise the 'record' then play it.
In the end i ditched Hall in favour of the gold and silver Ryder books. I read the top five cases in a standard medical text and a little bit of Baliga also. I passed 1st time.
The ethical and history taking stations are not so well covered and i would recommend ryder's gold book for these if you feel the need to revise for these (this is why only 4 stars)
Certainly enough detail to pass easily - add in Ryder for those rarer cases which do occasionally come up and you will be sorted.
I have previously used Tim Hall's first edition (smaller and harder to read-don't bother with it), Baliga (good cardiology and neuro, hopeless index, factually out-dated, not always relevant for paces, no Hx or communications or Parkinsons sections), Ryder (silver ryder is grey, difficult to read, all about the presentation but actually doesn't teach you very much and you're better getting regs to teach you presentation. very weak on management of conditions and out-dated in parts. An extremely useful aspect is that it tells you the frequency cases come up in paces. The gold ryder is now outdated too and not as helpful as Hall). Cases for paces is brilliant for a quick summary of cases and getting started, quite expensive for what it is, but also very good to throw in your bag to take onto the wards or for the days when you're stressed and want to cover the main things about the common topics quickly. Hall is probably more detail than you need but so easy to read I recommend it above the others. Plus it gets you to the standard that actually want to be as a doctor!
Whichever book you choose, remember common things are common and its all about how confident you are presenting. VERY GOOD LUCK!
The author not only explains examination techniques and clinical signs, but also goes that step further to ensure the reader really understands each topic, using clinical examples, question and answer/discussion sections as well as detailed illustrations.
Where this text also outshines the others is with the inclusion of chapters covering the History Taking and Communication/Ethics stations of the exam. The scenarios are "spot on" and give the reader plenty of examples to work through. The Neurology section is brilliant.
Overall: An excellent and up-to-date text, this is the new MRCP "Bible" - don't sit your exam without it.
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