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Book and Media Reviews
April 11, 2007

Berek and Novak’s Gynecology

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Fishbein Fellow.

JAMA. 2007;297(14):1601-1604. doi:10.1001/jama.297.14.1602-b

Sixty-five years have passed since Emil Novak first published Novak's Textbook of Gynecology, recognized for decades as the standard for gynecologic texts. The current 14th edition, edited by Jonathan S. Berek, covers subjects related to gynecology as well as primary care. The assembled contributors, although expert in the areas about which they write, do provide a somewhat mixed bag for readers, due to differences in style and completeness and depth of coverage. For example, although the first chapter provides a detailed description of the pelvic examination, the breast examination is not covered here but is deferred to another chapter. In the hysterectomy chapter, there are detailed descriptions and diagrams of the techniques of abdominal and vaginal hysterectomy but not of the various techniques of laparoscopic hysterectomy, an approach that is now growing in frequency. The often perplexing problem of pelvic pain is covered in considerable depth, but the equally perplexing problem of vulvodynia is not. Some authors provide detailed treatment options with dosages of medications, which enhances the text's usefulness as a reference source.