August 23, 1965

Obstetrics for Students

Author Affiliations

Salt Lake City


By Lance Townsend. 785 pp, 302 illus. $29.50. Cambridge University Press, 32 E 57th St, New York 10022, 1965

JAMA. 1965;193(8):690-691. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090080052029

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In his preface Professor Townsend states that it has long been the practice of lecturers in obstetrics at the University of Melbourne to supply the undergraduates with printed notes. Apparently the present book is an expansion and revision of such notes by Professor Townsend and his colleagues.

This technique does not assure successful production of a textbook. For one thing, much of the text is in outline form and consists of dogmatic remarks bare of explanation. The absence of medical references fails to assist the student in gaining access to such explication on his own. On the other hand, the special didactic qualities of the author do not emerge from the austere schematic presentations.

Much of the book is specifically oriented to Australian conditions in the use of hospitals and public and private practice. A patient is referred to as being "barrier-nursed," a term unfamiliar to me. Only two obstetrical

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