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Alick Munro. (Pp 191; soft cover £17.95.) Abingdon, Oxon: Radcliffe Medical Press Ltd, 2000. ISBN 1- 85775-383-6.
This well presented paperback contains true/false and short answer questions based on recent articles from the British Medical Journal and the British Journal of General Practice. Chapters cover specialties, diseases, or treatment areas. Sports medicine is pitifully represented by only five questions (one less than the HIV section!); however, at least the GP reader is reminded therein of the implications of prescribing for sportsmen.
Never one to plough through weighty texts when studying, I preferred to use books of this kind to test areas of strength or highlight deficiencies. Somehow MCQs in exams were always worded slightly differently from those seen previously in a quiz book making them difficult to revise verbatim. The author admits that this book is not intended as a definitive text, and the subjects discussed are open ended with the aim of stimulating further reading. I would dispute the author's claim that the book can be used as an aide memoire in the consulting room; although it contains many facts and figures, it would be difficult to extract them quickly in view of the lack of a subject index.
The book was enjoyable and it highlighted one's tendency to study disproportionately on subjects in which one is already knowledgeable. However, the evidence base is very restricted and the British Journal of General Practice has recently received criticism from the profession for lacking flair and relevance to mainstream general practice.
This book could persuade GPs to begin their personal development plans, thereby avoiding accusations from postgraduate tutors of becoming overspecialised in certain areas (in my case sports medicine) while neglecting others of less personal interest but no less importance to everyday practice.
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