I am a firm believer in buying a good obs and gynae book. Not because we should all want to spend our careers looking at women’s bits and delivering babies, not because there’s a lot of pregnant people turning up in A&E very worried, and not even because GPs spend a lot of time looking after obstetric patients and reassuring and explaining things to them. The reason that you need a decent obs and gynae book is that you probably won’t see any obs and gynae in real life, especially if: a) you’re male, b) you forget to bring a family-size tin of Quality Streets to delivery suite on day one to butter up the midwives, or c) you’re just plain unlucky. From the publishers’ point of view, their book needs to be pretty damn good to compete with Drife and Magowan’s “Clinical Obstetrics And Gynaecology”.
The first thing I looked up in “Obstetrics And Gynaecology At A Glance” was one of the practice MCQs on analgesia usage in trials of instrumental delivery. I couldn’t find the answer to this question within the text but what I did find was a diagram of five different types of forceps, each from two different angles and no mention of when a trial of forceps might be needed or how long to try for etc. This is the problem with this book really, there’s too much depth in the wrong places, meaning that you switch off before you get to the important bits. There’s always lots of information about various surgical approaches to problems and other technical info but not enough about other management techniques and clinical presentations. The newly added chapter on history and physical examination is a welcome addition but is too vague, for example it explains where to put your hands for the Leopold Manoeuvres but not what you’re feeling for and how to tell where the baby is sitting.
Having said this, I don’t hate this book; in fact it’s not that bad. It is well presented throughout and explanations are good, logical and well laid out too. This book is good enough to get you through your obstetrics and gynaecology placement; it is just outclassed by the competition.
Reviewed By: Ian Anderson (21.05.2006)
Click below to purchase online, direct from the publisher:
Clinical Obstetrics And Gynaecology - James Drife & Brian Magowan
Oxford Handbook Of Obs & Gynae - S. Arulkumaran et al.
Reproductive System At A Glance - Linda Heffner & Danny Schust