This textbook was first introduced in 2009, aimed at junior trainees and tailored to fit with the new ophthalmic specialist training (OST) curriculum. The second edition updates the clinical information to reflect changing practice and introduces two new chapters: refractive surgery and also microsurgical skills.

Each chapter begins with an overview of basic anatomy and physiology required to understand the subspecialty. It then goes onto cover relevant aspects of clinical assessment that may be required, including imaging. The clinical conditions are covered in one to two pages, and presented in a concise, easy to read format with bullet points. There are also plenty of good colour photos, figures and summary tables. Management is often expanded on later in each chapter such as in the glaucoma chapter where towards the end a clear summary of topical medications is given, and laser therapy and glaucoma surgery are each given their own two page spread. What is particularly nice is the mention of relevant clinical trials which is often lacking in other textbooks.

This book is not intended to be a comprehensive overview of all ophthalmology and its contents truly reflect the title of the textbook; it covers only the essentials of each subspecialty. Although it is perhaps not as extensive as some would like, it is written by experts in each field and covers pertinent areas of each topic. It could be useful as a quick reference guide, or for revision before moving onto a new firm for senior trainees. However, it is likely to be the most use to those new to ophthalmology, and makes for an excellent starter book.

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Zaria Ali

Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Manchester, UK.

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