The pleasing thud of this book dropping through my letterbox was tempered by mild anxiety. I’d just accepted an adult ENT job with a paediatric on-call, and my trusty Graham, Scadding and Bull was nearly a decade out of date.
My first impression was the American spelling. Pediatric. Anesthetic. Esophagus. Tempted to write a ranty review based on this, I instead contacted the editor, who helpfully clarified that this is Thieme’s house style.
Soon after the book’s arrival, and before I’d started the new job, my paediatric ENT colleagues decided that I’d be better placed on the adult on-call rota. I felt dejected for a moment, and a little sorry for the book, which I’d planned to place in prime position for quick reference. But let’s be honest - it makes perfect sense to have paediatric ENT surgeons care for paediatric ENT patients, when such a service is feasible.
So here I am, an ENT surgeon with a purely adult practice, reviewing a book on paediatric ENT. And a lovely book it is too. The glossy hardback and shiny pages are a pleasure to handle. The images are sharp, clear and plentiful. The chapters are split into sections with helpful sub-headings, offering bite-sized chunks of digestible information.
There are many names you’ll recognise on the author list, and a handful that you won’t, but don’t be put off by this. Ray Clarke has very carefully and cleverly selected authors who’ve put together concise, readable and well-referenced chapters, making this the perfect book for all ENT doctors, especially those revising for exams. The early chapters offer some absolute gems of wisdom, and the later chapters are bursting with all the facts necessary for higher exams such as the FRCS (ORL-HNS). As the only such single-volume, up-to-date text currently available, Clarke is well placed to be the go-to paediatric ENT textbook for the current generation.
I’ll definitely be keeping my copy, if only to remind myself of my close brush with the paediatric ENT on-call rota. I’ll recommend it to junior colleagues preparing for their exams, and perhaps even lend them my copy if they’re trustworthy types.