Vaughan and Asbury’s General Ophthalmology (19th edition) is the latest update of this classic ophthalmology textbook that has been around for nearly 60 years. Written by British, American and Canadian authors, this book is intended for an international readership and it is aimed at medical students, allied health professionals and ophthalmic trainees in the early stages of training.

A wide variety of topics are covered in the 25 chapters comprising the new edition. The book starts by introducing the reader to ocular anatomy and embryology, history taking and examination, and common ophthalmic emergencies. The book then delves into each component of the eye in more detail, dedicating a chapter to a specific part (e.g. retina) and its associated conditions and common treatments performed in that region. Following these chapters, which aim to establish a thorough understanding of eye anatomy, physiology and pathology, specialist topics such as neuro-ophthalmology, paediatric ophthalmology, ocular trauma, genetics, immunology, pharmacology, optics and refraction and ophthalmic equipment are addressed in the remaining chapters.

Vaughan and Asbury’s General Ophthalmology is a good textbook best served as an introduction for the new starter in ophthalmology. It has a wide scope of general and subspecialty topics, which are arranged in a logical manner. What stands out to me the most, compared to other ophthalmology books I have seen, is the ease of reading and following the text. This can be attributed to the descriptive language, which effectively paints a picture to the reader (particularly useful for describing ocular anatomy and the appearance of lesions), and the concise sentences. Additionally, there is no shortage of images in this book with clear, high quality patient photos, illustrations and clinical imaging appearing on most pages.

Overall, I would recommend Vaughan and Asbury’s General Ophthalmology as an excellent resource for the beginner in ophthalmology and I expect to see future editions of this book.

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Razan Nour

Ulster Hospital, Belfast.

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