The Ultimate Medical Encyclopedia: Understanding, Preventing, and Treating Medical Conditions

Edited by Martine Podesto, Firefly, $49.95 (602p) ISBN 978-1554077311
This is not your old-school, text-heavy, cursorily-illustrated clunker, but a bright, front-and-center family reference guide filled with explanatory graphics and copious details, delivered in a compact and compassionate package clearly streamlined to appeal to a general audience accustomed to user-friendly tools and layouts. Organized around 20 themes that correspond to a mechanism or bodily system, pages have standard layouts that parse information into bite-sized bits and visual color-coded cues that will help the scanning reader find what they seek. Some graphics, however, are lacking, the computer-generated people can look ghoulish at times, and the binding is best suited for light use (loose pages were evident after only several hours of use), which runs counter to the purpose. The Directory of Symptoms, a critical component for the at-home user, is buried in the back and free of graphic aids. With only scantly-interlaced symptoms, the section is of minimal use, which is disappointing in light of the self-advocacy attitude heralded by the editors. Still, the book fulfills its encyclopedic goal: it is soundly educational. Illus. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 12/20/2010
Release date: 07/01/2010
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