This is a book written by a group of ENT surgeons from the Mayo Clinic, and a plastic surgeon from Colorado, and is aimed at US residents throughout their training, in particular in preparation for their board exams. As such, it joins the ranks of other text-heavy, picture-light revision books that have made their way over to the UK to help in preparation for the FRCS (ORL-HNS) exam.
It is set out in a question and answer style, across paediatrics, rhinology / allergy, general otolaryngology, head and neck, and otology / skull base, with sections on trauma and facial plastics. The authors declare that there are over 9000 questions included with this book (half in print and half available via the internet, with a passcode provided with purchase) and this is certainly a lot more than other similar texts.
This book was better than the others I have seen of this style, in that it covers a wide range of topics, with questions ranging from broad overview style to in-depth fact checking. The pictures are scattered throughout the book and, other than breaking up the lines of text, do not contribute a great deal, although some are helpful aids to a previous question explanation. Although the references to various guidelines are understandably US-based, this does not form a major part and does not detract from the text.
This is not a book to learn primary knowledge from, although those wanting to simply take in facts from a long list may find it appealing, and the style of the questions is different to that of both the viva exam and MCQ. I imagine that the primary use will be to allow the reader to test current knowledge and also identify deficiencies prior to sitting the exam, or to quiz fellow candidates during joint revision sessions. It will also be of use throughout training as a book to read in conjunction with teaching sessions, training days and mock exams.
The authors’ description of the book as ‘pocket-sized’ is a little optimistic. It would fit into a bag, to be produced whenever a spare moment to revise is at hand, although your shoulders will not thank you if you are carrying it around all day.
At around £93 for a print copy of the book (slightly cheaper for an electronic version), it is priced similarly to others in the genre and, in my opinion, offers better value for money.
Recommended for all ENT trainees, especially those preparing for the Intercollegiate exam.