I was initially sceptical about this book: 1) because I’m an eternal pessimist and 2) because it’s been written in a pseudo-prose style (you’ll doubtlessly have noticed from my reviews that I prefer texts that feature tables, diagrams and bullet points).
The first couple of chapters provide the reader with some general background information about the common signs and symptoms seen in sexual health, as well as an outline of what a visit to the GU clinic involves for the patient. While this information is not necessarily the kind that will crop up in the veritable Spanish Inquisition of questions that are the fourth year exams, it does provide the student with some useful explanations to use, say, during the explanation station of an OSCE. From a more wholesome, vegetarian, GM-free point of view, it’s also good to try and broaden your horizons by reading about specialties, such as GU medicine, that you get only very limited experience of during clinical attachment.
The remainder of the book spends a chapter on each of the STIs common to the UK and to the returning traveller, discussing the usual signs, symptoms, investigations and management but still in a prose style, which will not suit all. Indeed doses of recommended drugs are not mentioned (but this is true of many of the other texts too). Within the HIV section, the book is nicely set out and explains the relative transmission risks for different scenarios and also outlines the principles of monitoring patients’ CD4 counts and viral load.
Overall I enjoyed this book. Admittedly, the style will not suit all, and it is a book that is probably more aimed at the patient than the clinician but all the information is there; you just have to sift through a few more words than normal, such as facts about the origins and histories of the conditions.
Reviewed By: Ian Anderson (09.08.2006)
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