The biggest challenge I faced while reading this book was determining the target audience. The preface states that it is “an entry-level text aimed at medical, nursing, and paramedical staff undertaking work in a hostile environment.” Elsewhere, the book is described as a “manual,” and the title states that it is a “practical guide.” It actually is difficult to classify, being a mix of anecdotal first-person sections describing the real-life experiences of field clinicians in a variety of environments (including Baghdad and Pristina), clinical sections describing medical care for a wide variety of conditions likely to be encountered in a variety of field settings, background material describing how military conflicts and complex humanitarian emergencies arise, operational material regarding nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and military units, and even some political commentary.
Cone DC. Conflict and Catastrophe Medicine: A Practical Guide. JAMA. 2011;305(9):942-946. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.231