Stephanie Smith, Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, CB2 1PD
Title: Clinical Biochemistry
Author: Nessar Ahmed
Clinical Biochemistry is taken from Oxford’s new “Fundamentals of Biomedical Science” range. The authors set out to bridge the gaps between basic science, disease processes and diagnostic medicine. The book would be particularly useful for preclinical students who wish to gain a better insight into the relevance of biochemistry in a clinical context.
The book is organised into 22 chapters, covering a range of scientific topics in addition to providing an introduction to biochemical investigation. Due to the breadth of material covered in the contents, it is easiest to find specific topics in the comprehensive index. The layout and colour scheme makes for pleasant reading, with key points and self-check questions highlighted in boxes interspersed throughout the text. At the end of each chapter, a bullet-point summary, references for further reading and questions are provided to consolidate the reader’s knowledge. The clinical case study boxes are particularly engaging, providing questions relating to patient investigations and diagnoses.
One of the key features advertised for this new book series is the online learning material produced to complement the printed volumes. For instance, the answers to the questions in the book are found online, which is useful. However, further features that include the digital microscope feature and video interviews are not tailored specifically to Clinical Biochemistry so would only be of personal interest. At the time of writing, the “self-assessment modules” which are mentioned on the cover of the book had not been uploaded to the website.
Overall, Clinical Biochemistry provides the reader with a well-rounded view of the subject from the historical background of biochemical investigation through to concepts such as clinical audit that are directly relevant to every modern doctor. Moreover, the authors successfully fulfil their aim of linking the theory of biochemistry to clinical practice.
At the time of writing (December 2011) the online materials can be accessed via www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/orc/fbs.