Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Student review)

February 28, 2013

Authors: Lawrence Impey and Tim Child
Edition: Fourth
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Pages: 360
Price: £36.99
ISBN: 9780470655191

Medical students dread the idea of being “grilled” by their consultants on ward rounds and in operating theatres. There is therefore a desperate need for the rapid retrieval and storage of key information to save one from this humiliation. Known in the student world as Impey’s, this textbook is an easy-to-carry manual for clinical placements. Its relatively compact size, abundant colour diagrams and concise text make it an appealing resource.

Self-assessment questions at the end of each chapter would have been the cherry on top of the cake

It is split into two main sections, gynaecology and obstetrics, covering essential history-taking and examination skills in the first chapter of each section. I like the textbook’s overall style and presentation. The gynaecology section is divided into chapters anatomically, for example “The uterus” and “The cervix”, describing normal function as well as disorders. The obstetrics section takes you through a woman’s pregnancy and all the complications she may face. The authors provide a reading list at the end of every chapter, which is beneficial when more information is required, or simply for the reader’s interest.

Lawrence Impey and Tim Child organise information under the pertinent headings of definition, epidemiology, aetiology, clinical features, investigations and management, with the aim of assisting structured learning. There are summary boxes throughout, useful for ensuring that essential information is retained and as an aid to revision. However, the addition of self-assessment questions at the end of each chapter - not offered here - would have been the cherry on top of the cake.

This latest edition, the fourth, is accompanied by a website containing revision notes and exam-style questions. The revision notes are brief summaries of chapters and can be used as a helpful guide. At the time of writing, the website offered 67 multiple-choice questions, all of which were obstetric. I personally found these quite difficult and would have liked to see questions with vignettes. It was disappointing to see no gynaecology questions, and I hope these will be made available in the near future.

Overall, this textbook is a useful resource for medical students who are being exposed to obstetrics and gynaecology for the first time. It will provide them with the basic information they need to survive clinics and to pass exams. However, the more eager among us may require an accompanying textbook to satisfy our needs. Although the website has not been deployed to its full potential, it could be the start of what will become a great resource.

Who is it for?
Medical students in their clinical years and those studying obstetrics and gynaecology.

Clear, concise and colourful; perfect for easy learning and revision.

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