The Gale Encyclopedia of Surgery and Medical Tests

Gale Cengage. 4th ed. ed. 4 vols. Mar. 2020. 2,328p. ed. by ed. by Deirdre S. Hiam. ISBN 9780028666518. $840. REF
Explaining a wide variety of surgical procedures and medical tests, Hiam (Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine) conveys complex information in straightforward prose. More than 600 alphabetically organized essays review surgical and test-related topics, such as hospitalization, advance directives from patients, blood donation, surgical procedures (amputation, arthroscopic surgery, bloodless surgery), drugs (analgesics, aspirin, antibiotics) and medical tests (basic, such as allergy or cholesterol, and more complex procedures, such as amniocentesis or ultrasounds). Information is current (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes Supreme Court decisions and changes through 2019), and entries feature color illustrations, short additional reading bibliographies, sidebars, and key terms, as well as a wealth of information (precautions, preparation, aftercare, expectations, questions to ask the doctor, mortality rates, alternatives, and more). The glossary covers medical terminology and article key words. There is a “body system” index in addition to a nicely detailed general index. The organizations appendix provides full contact information with websites and email addresses. While the majority of the contributors are medical professionals, the rest are academics and medical writers.
VERDICT Hiam and her contributors have effectively eschewed medical jargon for comprehensible language, making the material here accessible and appealing to high school and undergraduate students.
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