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on 15 March 2009
Excellent book. Clear and concise with excellent diagrams and pictures. Essential book for all those studying or working within ophthalmology, optometry and orthoptics.
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on 28 October 2009
This new ophthalmology textbook has been written specifically for trainees, reflecting the new ophthalmic specialist training (OST) curriculum. It forms part of the publisher's new `Oxford Specialty Training' series of books across medical specialties, recently introduced to compliment the new training and curricula across medicine in the UK.
The Preface details how "this book is aimed primarily at trainees in the early years of OST" and is mapped to the "initial stages (ST1-3) of the new OST curriculum". This is the first ophthalmic text to be written for the new curriculum, and this fact should not be overlooked. The new curriculum has some different emphases, and modern ophthalmic practice is certainly in a period of dramatic change with new treatments and new tools of investigational diagnosis.
The 11 chapters of the book cover the broad sub-specialties, and have been written by consultant ophthalmologists and registrars from across the UK. The layout of the book is very clear. Each condition is given a two-page spread, beginning with general explanations of the pathophysiology and clinical evaluation, followed by differential diagnoses, treatment options and finally colour photographs. Each chapter ends with ideas for case-based discussions. The typeface and layout are very nicely done, making it an easy book to read through, but also easy to scan through quickly to find the information you are looking for, thanks to lots of sub-headings and bullet-point lists. The illustrations too are very clear and amongst the best I have seen in a textbook of this size and price.
The level of the text is clearly at the junior trainee, as it does not go beyond the basics of each condition. This is frustrating at times, requiring you to look up a more thorough textbook if you need more detail on treatment options, for example. In addition, I would not recommend this book for exams preparation or revision. Whilst it includes a lot of information such as the important trials in glaucoma and diabetes, it does not address the typical scenarios encountered in College clinical examinations, or much detail on examination techniques. However, the authors' intention was never for this book to help you pass exams, or a comprehensive textbook for all of ophthalmic training, rather an introductory text that is accessible and easy to read. It certainly fulfils this aim, though I suspect that the psychological attraction to having a hefty detailed textbook on your bookshelf at home may lead to some trainees skipping over this new book in favour of the more detailed, established (and more expensive) tomes!
Reviewer: James Cameron
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on 10 March 2009
This textbook is excellent. It is well structured, beautifully layed out with excellent colour pictures and diagrams. It really is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Ophthalmology or Optometry.
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on 16 August 2013
Great book for review
easy to read
Good for FRCSophth Exams
A lot of photos
recommened for Junior doctors in Ophth Residency

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on 26 August 2011
I was certainly expecting quite a bit from this text, perhaps too much?

On the positive side, its laid out very well, with each topic spread over one or two pages, which would make it suited for exam revision. It's also a great size, being small enough to carry to work as a reference text. The book follows the RCOphth curriculum, so compared to the traditional textbooks, its nice to see something aimed directly at UK based trainees. I've found some of the chapter introductions useful as it gives a good précis of the topic and I thought that most of the text is clear, concise and easy to read.

On the negatives, unfortunately, I have to agree with other reviewers. I've found several mistakes in the text that would be confusing for junior trainees. The pictures are small, being only 1/8th of a single page, which makes seeing the details difficult, and some pictures fall short of demonstrating the necessary clinical finding.

I think the authors know that trainees will not be able to use this as their sole ophthalmology text. Having said that it I feel it complements the currently available texts, and certainly has its own place as a 'carry to work' or 'revision text'

I'm sure they'll be looking to make further improvements for future editions, but as it stands..... 5 stars for effort..... 3 for execution.
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on 7 February 2016
Good book, especially for new trainees
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on 31 December 2010
Although this textbook would be useful for many ophthalmology trainees, especially those starting their training, I was generally disappointed. There were many small errors in both text and figure annotations etc. The quality of images was generally poor and many features they were attempting to illustrate in the images were not visible. Large parts of text appear exceedingly similar to the first edition oxford handbook of ophthalmology. It would benefit from amendments if a second edition planned.
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on 3 April 2011
I read the book cover to cover, and I tend to agree that it is not on par with the expectations of many trainee ophthalmologists. Having said that, I believe that the book is great for a last minute review before an exam, but not as the primary text. The image quality is poor, and the pertinent features are never apparent on them. As for errors, I encountered a couple non-fatal mistakes; I do not believe there are "many" errors.

A second edition should be a little bigger so as not to compromise accuracy for the sake of simplicity. Exam popular topics, like phakomatoses for instance, need to be laid out bluntly and explicitly rather than be lost and distributed loosely in the text. Most of the images need to be fully replaced. Adding lists of differential diagnoses would be great. As this book is aimed at being a coverage of the RCOphth curriculum rather than an ER pocket guide, a chapter on pathology would be a nice addition. If that's not possible, adding the histologic features of individual conditions is an alternative; but you could not just totally ignore pathology in a manual meant to cover the ophthalmology examination curriculum. Also, the chapter on good medical practice makes no sense as huge omissions from the GMC's guide to good medical practice have been made, hindering good understandability of the subject which came out amputated.
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