Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 02-March-2007, Vol 120 No 1250
Examination Paediatrics: a guide to paediatric training (3rd edition)
Wayne Harris. Published by Churchill Livingstone (Elsevier), 2006. ISBN 9780729537728. Contains 400 pages. Price AUD$82.50 (GST included)
Examination Paediatrics is well established as essential reading for those sitting the RACP clinical examination in Paediatrics. This is based on the book’s readability, comprehensiveness, and relevance to the Australasian examination. The third edition relies on the same successful formula and layout, while expanding and updating some of the clinical information.
The structure of the book is related to the format of the exam, i.e. long and short cases. The chapters cover either a system (cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, haematology, nephrology, neurology, the respiratory system, rheumatology), or an area of paediatrics (behavioural and developmental paediatrics, genetics and dysmorphology, neonatology, oncology).
The first four chapters give a general introduction to the exam, including one chapter dedicated to the psychology of sitting and passing. Each subsequent chapter then discusses a number of different long and short cases, with the long case discussions tending to include some background clinical information.
Wayne Harris is now the sole author of Examination Paediatrics. A reasonable amount of new information has been added, filling some of the gaps in the previous edition. It does, however, remain a book primarily dealing with what should be looked for in performing an examination, rather than a text on how to examine children.
Detail on how to illicit some signs may need to be found in other texts, or demonstrated by colleagues; preferably a Consultant who has been an examiner. The background information in each of the sections is often very practical, but as the author explains, this is not a comprehensive textbook of paediatrics.
As final testament to the quality of this text, reading the third edition, within a year of passing the exam myself, did not result in any DSM-IV classifiable state as one might predict. I fear the same may not be true of Nelson’s.
Examination Paediatrics is an important tool for passing the RACP clinical examination. As long as upcoming changes to the exam format can be incorporated into future editions, this will continue to be the case for some time.
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