This book was written for the medical student and a CBY level resident. It is required reading at many medical schools for 3rd year medical students on their anesthesiology clerkship. The goal of this text is to provide the new anesthesiology trainee with enough essential introductory information to provide a solid foundation on which to build a sound and thorough understanding of anesthesiology. The text is very concise and is expertly written.
The text, like the field, is technically based and is not light reading -- in that respect, the title (as well as the book's nickname outside of Indiana as "Baby Miller") may be somewhat misleading to people who may be lured into the false hope of expecting to easily learn the essentials of a very complex medical specialty. Face it -- there is no "Anesthesiology for Dummies" textbook, and there is no *easy* way to learn everything that there is to know to understand the specialty of anesthesiology. Although this book does not provide in-depth coverage of any specific topics, and it is not highly referenced, it does nevertheless provide all of the basic science information that is necessary to provide a rock-solid foundation upon which to build one's clinical knowledge. In that respect, this is a truly *outstanding* introductory textbook.
I bought the first edition of this book as a 3rd year medical student on my anesthesia clerkship. In the course of my anesthesia residency, I bought *three* copies of the second edition of this textbook. As one progresses to various levels of proficiency in anesthesiology, this book will remain a valuable resource, albeit for different reasons. I now have many copies of this book in my library, each of which have been highlighted with different objectives in mind:
This textbook has the highest per page density of examination questions for the In-Service/ABA Written Exams of any textbook in print. I memorized the first edition of this book as a 3rd year medical student for my anesthesia clerkship. I read the second edition of this book as a CBY intern with only 10 days of anesthesiology residency training and scored in the 95th percentile of CBY-level residents on the exam. As a resident you should own a copy of this book and skim through it after each of your in-service exams, highlighting examination questions for later review. After doing this for 4 years you'll have a very consise compendium of written board examination questions. Passing the written boards isn't as hard as many people think. Hint, hint.
The book also provides a very concise review of important facts for the practicing anesthesiologist who wants to review the field in a very time-efficient manner. In this regard, it would also be very helpful to a board certified anesthesiologist who is looking for a concise but thorough review of the basic foundations of anesthetic practice, perhaps for studying for the CDQ exam.
This book is well-recommended for the beginning resident in anesthesiology. It is no substitute for reference texts such as Miller and Barash, which become significantly more valuable to an anesthesiology trainee as their knowledge of the specialty begins to blossom.
I would advise against the recommendation of the reviewer from Sacramento who advises avoiding this book to save for a copy of Miller or Barash. You need to buy this book in addition to buying Miller AND Barash. The Miller and Barash reference texts are too detailed and overwhelming for the novice anesthesiology trainee, and finding basic information in them would be like searching for a needle in a haystack. In contrast, this text provides a very brief, and concise yet very dense presentation of information. If you read this text and find youself struggling through an unreadable collection of disjointed facts, maybe anesthesia isn't for you. People who are successful in the speciality love this book.