The need to keep up to date has arguably never been greater. This, combined with medical research evolving at a phenomenal rate and the drive to manage more and more patients in primary care, creates a need for readily and easily accessible medical information.
Diabetes is no exception; it is a complicated field requiring depth and breadth of knowledge. My first thoughts were ambivalent, so I am going to discuss the pros and cons and let you make up your own mind. Perhaps it is worth outlining at the outset what the aim of the book is; this is not made obvious by the authors, so I can only assume it is designed to be a quick access resource for GPs, trainees or nurses, rather than an all-encompassing reference for aspiring diabetologists.
The text delivers a very readable and usable review of what is quite a complicated subject. Ninety-two pocket-sized pages in six short chapters cover an introduction, screening, management, patient- centred care, evidence, and review and recall.
Key definitions and insightful, practical tips make the book a helpful resource for trainees, GPs and practice nurses. There are fascinating epidemiological snippets and invaluable tables on prescribing medication, including DPP-4 inhibitors and GLP-1 incretin mimetics.
However, the structure of the book is not consistent and given that it does not have an index, navigating can prove difficult. There are one or two inconsistencies with current medical evidence, although it is likely it was correct at the time of writing.
The guidance on metformin prescribing with respect to renal function is a little confused between one page and another, and I wonder if the use of audit questionnaires should be advocated, rather than the outdated CAGE screening tool, when considering alcoholism.
A book worth buying
Nevertheless, I learnt a lot from this book and it earned me credits for revalidation. It is without doubt incredibly useful for learners and practitioners wanting to update their knowledge of type-2 diabetes in a relatively short time and I can foresee it being a very useful desktop reference during the consultation.
With some caveats, this book is a very good guide and for its size, packs a reasonable punch. Overall, it is definitely worth buying.
- Dr Thakkar is a GP in Wooburn Green, Buckinghamshire
GP and Cedilla Publishing are giving away four copies of The 10-minute consultation: type-2 diabetes mellitus by Dr R Gadsby, Dr DW Haslam, Dr K Khunti, Dr M Kirby and Dr M Mead