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Book and Media Reviews
July 2, 2008

Clinical Protocols in Obstetrics and Gynecology

JAMA. 2008;300(1):105. doi:10.1001/jama.300.1.105

In this age, which believes that there is a shortcut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest.—Henry Miller

One of the main premises of this unusual text is that it is designed to help readers pass the written and oral examinations of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In fact, the author boldly states that “If you know this book, you will PASS your certification exam.” The book is organized alphabetically into brief “bullet points” about a given topic. In most sections, statistics relating to the material are included. There is no index. For most topics the material is not referenced, nor is there any indication if the bullet points are the result of evidence-based research or just a matter of opinion. Although the title suggests that this is a book of protocols, only a small percentage of the covered topics contain treatment algorithms. To evaluate this text against other sources, I compared some of the topics with similar ones presented in the 2008 Compendium of Selected Publications published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The compendium is published annually and contains committee opinions, policy statements, and practice bulletins that are extensively peer-reviewed.