The three-volume Scott-Brown’s Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery is arguably the definitive encyclopaedia of ENT. Its comprehensive nature, however, limits its utility when preparing for examinations.
The authors, in creating an “essential” version, have managed to produce an ideal textbook for use through higher surgical training. They have balanced the need for complete coverage of the curriculum, yet avoided submerging the reader in detail that may distract when studying to pass exams covering the entire breadth of ENT. This has been achieved by mapping the book’s content to the core elements of the ENT higher surgical curriculum. Understandably, it remains a reference book and weighs in at over 600 pages.
The book’s layout allows easy access to the information required to develop the requisite knowledge base and subsequent revision of all relevant subspeciality areas within ENT. Although presently up to date, this layout should lend itself to straightforward revision, refining and updating in future editions. The clinical pictures, images and illustrations within it are all of good quality, adding context to the text and facilitating understanding. Given its potential as a reliable companion throughout the whole of ENT training, its price offers good value for money, particularly for those preparing for FRCS (ORL-HNS) or the European Board Examinations.
In summary, the authors have risen to the challenge of condensing all three volumes of Scott Brown’s Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery into a textbook aimed at, and relevant to, ENT surgeons in training. I congratulate them all on completing such a substantial task with such good effect.