The second edition of Thieme’s Basic Otorhinolaryngology, as the name suggests, is indeed a step-by-step learning guide for medical students and physicians seeking basic information related to the subject. It comes in an easy-to-learn and user-friendly format, introducing the reader to the basic concepts of ENT.
This is a paperback version, single volume textbook of over 400 pages, measuring 27 x 19.5 x 2cm, so loses out as a pocket guide. However, its size allows for basic knowledge to be imparted via high-quality colour diagrams and superb clinical pictures. It is well-written and includes most of the important topics within the otorhinolaryngology curriculum. The book flows very well, with the contents being neatly organised into brief study units (under the four basic headings of Ear, Nose-Sinuses-Face, Oral Cavity & Pharynx and Neck). Each chapter begins with a study unit explaining the basic anatomy, physiology, clinical examination and diagnostic modalities related to the heading. The subsequent units provide a concise description of various pathological (categorised as congenital malformations, traumatic, inflammatory and neoplastic) conditions. Most units utilise a large number of illustrations, with tables and flowcharts, which takes the reader from the art of diagnosis through the basic standards of care. This appears to make learning very convenient. The clinical photographs, radiographs and CT images provide an insight to clinical conditions especially for the beginners. The ‘Knowledge in depth’ boxes and the ‘Points of emphasis’ highlight the additional, as well as the most pertinent, facts. This would be of interest to medical students appearing for ENT quiz competitions.
As a recent publication, it is an updated learning guide for ENT trainees. Limited by the depth of knowledge, it cannot be an authoritative text for review or quick reference at an exit exam level. However, it proves to be an excellent source of information for students and those developing an interest in ENT.