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May 6, 1983

Principles of Obstetrics

Author Affiliations

Louisiana State University School of Medicine New Orleans

JAMA. 1983;249(17):2397-2398. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330410075039

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The editor proposes in his preface to offer the student a core text with emphasis on physiological principles. He has, in fact, produced a binary text, part "core" material, part "advanced specialty" material.

The core portion of the book consists of very brief, and sometimes superficial, chapters concerning the classic elements of obstetrics, such as fetal presentation, mechanism of labor, and prenatal and postpartum care. Most of these chapters were written by the editor himself.

Interspersed among this very basic core material are erudite and extensive chapters on reproductive physiology, endocrinology, genetics, and a number of topics in the field of maternal-fetal medicine. This reviewer was particularly impressed with J. L. Simpson's genetics, Y. Dawood's endocrinology of pregnancy, N. H. Lauerson's fetal heart rate testing, and A. Berkeley's fetal monitoring chapters. These authoritative discussions by respected contributors raise the book to unexpected heights that may overshoot the stated core goals.