Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor:
Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA;
David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library,
Journal Review Editor.
The field of obstetrics and gynecology is replete with textbooks that
attempt to comprehensively cover the subjects pertinent to the specialty.
Some are new while others, like Danforth’s Obstetrics
and Gynecology, have been in existence for decades.
Over the years, tasks of editing and contributing chapters have changed
hands. The result of such turnover and the use of multiple authors is a mixed
bag for the reader. Some topics are covered in reasonable depth while others
receive less attention than they deserve. In the obstetrics portion of the
text, in particular, the chapters on genetics, premature rupture of the membranes,
preterm labor, complications of labor, hypertensive disorders, obstetric infections,
critical care, and cesarean section are appropriately comprehensive, written
with clarity, and well organized. In contrast, in the chapter on labor and
delivery, postpartum hemorrhage, including its management, is covered in two
paragraphs while breast feeding receives two and one half pages of coverage.
While both topics are important, in my view, one of the more important obstetric
emergencies deserves greater attention. Similarly, another obstetric emergency,
shoulder dystocia, receives scant coverage in this text. Nausea and vomiting
of early pregnancy is covered in the prenatal care chapter, the drugs in pregnancy
chapter, and the medical complications of pregnancy chapter. Although the
index leads the reader to these various chapters, there is no cross-referencing
within the chapters to ensure that a reader doesn’t miss other important
points about the problem. The drugs in pregnancy chapter lists 16 different
pharmacologic agents that could be used for treating this disorder but provides
no suggestions on order of use.
Burkman RT. Obstetrics-Gynecology. JAMA. 2004;292(16):2019-2024. doi:10.1001/jama.292.16.2021-b