Pocket Tutor: Neurological Examination
John A Goodfellow. Editorial Advisor: Neel Burton
JP Medical Publishers
Neurological examination is, I suspect, something that neurosurgical trainees would like to think that they are more than proficient at but in reality we may fall somewhere short of the mark. Despite this, there seems to be a certain reluctance to read up on the subject, except in the days before an exam!
Pocket Tutor: Neurological Examination is designed to provide a quick-reference guide to the subject but also to link examination techniques and findings to actual clinical signs.
The book itself is anatomically divided initially with later chapters focussing on specific clinical scenarios, including patients suffering from stroke or coma. Chapters are logically organised and the “Clinical Insight” boxes are useful adjuncts when trying to piece the examination together with common presentations etc. There are also tips and mnemonics to help the reader to remember constellations of signs/syndromes. Diagrams are incorporated into the text and help to illustrate key themes.
The book is not specifically aimed at neurosurgeons, nor was it written by one and so there is a definite neurology theme that runs through the text, especially where reference is made to clinical conditions. There is also some repetition within the chapters. The index is missing a few neurosurgical signs e.g. Hoffman’s sign and there does tend to be less of a focus on surgical pathology in general (cervical myelopathy is barely touched upon) but overall this is a concise book that is easy to dip into on an ‘as and when’ basis; as well as providing a useful revision aid prior to exams.
Ian Anderson, October 2012