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Eureka: Paediatrics
Sian Foulkes MBBCh BSc MRCPCH
Gemma Trays MBBCh MRCPCH
Carol Sullivan BM BCh MA MRCP


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Edition 1/e
Publish Year2017
Size 6.3" X 9.5"
Cover TypePaper Back
With CD/DVD No
Key Features
First principles chapter clearly explains key concepts and processes such as normal growth and development, nutrition, puberty and adolescence

Clinical essentials chapter provides an overview of the symptoms and signs of childhood disease, relevant history and examination techniques, investigations and management options

Disease-based chapters give concise descriptions of all major neonatal, perinatal and paediatric disorders by body system, each chapter introduced by engaging clinical cases that feature unique graphic narratives

Emergencies chapter covers the principles of immediate care in situations such as anaphylaxis and severe asthma

Integrated care chapter discusses strategies for the management of chronic conditions and other issues such as developmental delay across primary and other care settings

Self-Assessment – 80 multiple choice questions in clinical SBA format, in line with current exam format

Target Audience
Undergraduate Medical Students.

REVIEWER'S EXPERT OPINION Matthew Present, BA (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)


This is a smart little book -- more the size of a novel than a reference -- that combines clinical descriptions of common pediatric ailments with underlying pathophysiological principles. Indeed, the book's resemblance to a novel corresponds to an approach that's best described as narrative, with short paragraphs and large type. The content is a creative blend of clinical cases, charts, figures, photos, and explanations, labeled by color and mutually reinforcing, collectively working to unpack a common topic in pediatrics. There are blessedly few lists, and where bullet points are used, they usually appear as summations rather than the arid, endless litanies that other books sometimes offer in service to being comprehensive.
Algorithms and flow charts are also used sparingly, and the book is better for it. Fifteen umbrella topics provide the framework for the book's core chapters. Alongside more common topics like cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disorders are one chapter on community pediatrics and another on emergencies. The prominence of these real-world concerns reflects the authors' commitment to educating future providers for medicine as it is practiced, not as it is tested. (Von Gierke's and Krabbe diseases are conspicuous only in their absence from the index.) The text is enlivened with moments that reflect the compassion of those who produced it, with their advice on palliative care and clear-eyed descriptions of the toll that chemotherapy takes on both patient and family, as well as their understanding of parental anxieties about infant reflux and constipation.


Unlike so many other books aimed at students, this one does not present itself as a one-way ticket to success on standardized tests. Instead, it demonstrates significant faith in the medical student's willingness to take the long view of training, emphasizing teaching points that will provide a higher yield in the clinic than they might on exam day. The relative prevalence of a given condition in the field corresponds to its prominence in the book. As the series editors explain in the foreword, "The authors have always asked themselves, 'why does the aspiring clinician need to know this?'" While this may seem a simple enough objective on its face, the authors' dogged pursuit of daily relevance sets this book apart from other resources both in intent and accomplishment.


The authors make no bones about the book's market -- it is for medical students.
Notably, however, it does not position itself as a handbook for the future pediatrician alone, instead observing in the preface that the "the practice of paediatrics is not the sole preserve of paediatricians," a fact that holds more water in the less-specialized U.K., where the authors reside.
Nevertheless, the book ultimately concerns itself with a holistic model of training that seeks to elucidate its subjects not merely by listing facts, but, in its own description, by "stimulating curiosity and learning." The authors, all British pediatricians, have clearly devoted much of their careers to working with medical students and junior trainees. This devotion to medical education shines through the book and strengthens it.


The first of the book's 17 chapters deals with normal growth from embryo into adolescence and provides a useful if occasionally tedious description of developmental milestones. The second chapter, which is something like a long string of clinical pearls, is also worth the read, even if it does not always scintillate. Tips range from trenchant advice for differentiating between the left kidney and the spleen to more banal offerings about being sure the room is well lit during a skin examination. The remaining 15 chapters, roughly three-quarters of the book, follow a cadence that is both matter-of-fact and memorable, not to mention fun. Each chapter begins with "starter questions," which are answered at the end of the chapter, as well as at least one short, common case, such as "a seizure at school" or "sudden limp in a 6-year-old boy" that is pursued to its conclusion. Few mechanisms engage medical students more quickly than a confrontation with his own limited understanding, so I found these questions and cases particularly effective at grabbing my attention without delaying the progression to the didactic material. The meat of each chapter is organized into several subdivisions. First, a broad subtopic, e.g. abdominal pain under GI disorders, is given a few sentences to describe the salient points. Then, the pathology and incidence of a specific condition -- say, appendicitis -- is quickly sketched and its clinical features, diagnostic approach, and clinical management are provided in similarly short order. The whole endeavor rarely covers more than a couple hundred words, which is probably right around what medical students ought to know about any one condition. The authors are not enslaved to this approach, adding subsections about education, testing characteristics, and other disease-specific information when necessary. Mnemonics (think Meckel's rule of 2s) and clinical pearls (always measure CK in boys with delayed walking) are placed in gray boxes throughout the book, a clever way to vary the pacing and make each page easier on the eyes.


This is a refreshing departure from the cynical view that other books, freighted with hundreds of esoteric multiple-choice questions about vanishingly rare conditions that are most commonly seen on test day, often demonstrate the demands and priorities of medical students. That the province of the book is pediatrics, where extraordinarily unusual genetic conditions comprise so much of the emphasis during clerkships, makes this work that much more valuable. In this book, genetic disorders and dysmorphism comprise just one particularly short chapter, taking a backseat to topics that providers are exponentially more likely to encounter, such as nonaccidental trauma and other elements of community pediatrics. Medical students are known for their ability to recite zebras and horses alike with little understanding of which is which. The book addresses this problem with simple observations such as "the primary cardiovascular disorder in children is congenital heart disease, which in most children presents in the first year," or "respiratory conditions [are] responsible for 50% of all acute paediatric admissions," providing a welcome antidote to the epidemiological ignorance that afflicts us at the beginning of our training. This is one of the book's chief strengths. Occasionally, this approach belabors the clarity it seeks to achieve and provides information that is too basic. But if few students will feel illuminated upon reading that "a headache is a pain in the region of the head or neck," or that "every individual has a unique set of genes located on 23 pairs of chromosomes," it is a small sin that occurs in service to the noble mission of providing an approachable, lucid, and clinically relevant book. After reading it, I found myself better prepared for the pediatric clinic, and more eager to embark on untangling its mysteries.

Ratings:   Book Image   (4 Stars)
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