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WAO Medical Book Review

Middleton's Allergy Principles and Practice Textbook 6th edition
Reviewed by Bob Q. Lanier, MD
North Texas Institute for Clinical Trials
Fort Worth, Texas USA

Textbooks are much like operating systems for computers. For most of us, a new system or a new text book is a well considered purchase in view of a cost ($329) which oftentimes is equal to a year's dues or more to a major society. The sixth edition of Middleton's Allergy Principles and Practice, published by Mosby, 2003, is no exception. The solid writing by world experts is taken for granted. But the major breakthrough is the inclusion of a single user CD-ROM which allows access to the website for a total text review of the book. You can download pictures for PowerPoint slide presentations. Searching for a specific reference or a topic is grossly simplified and lightning fast. This feature by itself is worth the purchase price for physicians. The ability to instantly review a topic is an exquisite luxury that will someday become a standard practice tool. The material in the sixth edition is arranged along the same lines as previous ones with most information up-to-date as of 2002-2003 when most of the work was done. Like any textbook, it's a little dated at publication (scanty mention of anti-IgE), but with inclusion of web access, the total product is state-of-the-art. It's a dramatic improvement in education.

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