Mauricio Castillo, MD, Editor
MALPRACTICE ISSUES IN RADIOLOGY, 2ND EDITION Leonard Berlin. American Roentgen Ray Society, Leesburg, Virginia, 2003, 915 pp, hardcover, $89.00 for members of AARS, $125.00 for non-members.
Few are legends in their own time, or in any one else’s time, for that matter. Leonard Berlin is a legend in radiology, and his second edition of “Malpractice Issues in Radiology” is a strong argument for awarding legendary status. Here, in 915 pages of amazingly lucid prose, is more about the interfaces of radiology and the law than might be found anywhere else. The book is four times the size of the first edition in 1998. It consists of 105 essays, each describing a case in which a radiologist came athwart of tort law and got sued for malpractice, how it happened, how it was defended, and how it came out. All but a few of the essays appered in the pages of the American Journal of Roentgenology in 93 consecutive issues. All but a few of them were the solo efforts of Leonard Berlin. The many evenings and weekends spent during the past eight years doing the research and then crafting the prose leaves one somewhere between awe and incredulity. Avoiding both medical jargon and legalese, here are stories about the misadventures of radiologists, each complete with introductions, characters, plots, motives, and finally a moral. There is even an avuncular comment about how the problem might have been avoided and could be by any reader. Len Berlin was no more interested in the law than the average radiologist until the summer of 1976. Then he was sued for malpractice for allegedly missing a fractured finger. He was acquitted, leaving him solvent but annoyed. So he sued the lawyer who had filed the case against him. Against all conventional wisdom about the futility of suing lawyers, he won. In both of those suits, he got into the details of the procedures and found them fascinating. He never took any courses in law, but his interest in medical malpractice con-
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tinued and his scholarship waxed, leading to the essays that have earned him the respect of radiologists and attorneys alike. The book is too heavy to be recommended as light reading. But it is easy reading. Each essay takes only a few minutes. Its contents have already become part of the medical– legal scene and the courts in many states know him well. The book is of value to any radiologist who might be sued, to those in positions of authority in radiology, to hospital administrators, to their attorneys, and to anyone who wants to know about an ominous aspect of radiology not covered this well anywhere else. For those who heed his admonitions, it might be said that a chapter a day keeps the lawyer away. Contents: 夹夹夹夹 Readability: 夹夹夹夹 Accuracy: 夹夹夹夹 Overall Evaluation: 夹夹夹夹 Otha Linton, MSJ Potomac, MD
RADIOLOGY REVIEW MANUAL, 5TH ED W. Dahnert. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, Pa, 2003, 1202 pp, soft cover, $99.00.
There probably aren’t many radiologists out there that haven’t used, or at the very least seen, “the green book” by Dahnert. This title is a reference mainstay for the resident, and a tattered, well-worn copy is often to be found on the bookshelf of the practicing radiologist. Perhaps not a work one would sit down and just start reading, but I seldom fail to find something new, a diagram or differential list I had not noticed before, each time I flip through the pages. As in previous editions, the text is soft cover, divided into 12 sections. Each section is further subdivided into a differential diagnosis portion, several pages of anatomy/ embryology, and disorders listed in alphabetical order. The 12 sections are broadly organized by anatomic region, with several notable exceptions: the orbit gets its own section, rather than being included with the central nervous system, for example. Of the 12, there are also dedicated sections on the heart and great vessels and obstet-
Academic Radiology, Vol 11, No 6, June 2004
rics and gynecology. Pediatrics is woven into the various sections, where appropriate. Black “tabs” on the pages aid in quick reference of a given topic. This organization is, however, nothing new when compared with prior editions of the book. There are also brief sections on water-soluble contrast media and statistics. A handy outline for the treatment of contrast reactions is printed on the inside front and back covers of the book (it is up to the reader to determine whether all the dosages and son are in line with current American College of Radiology recommendations!). Illustrations are simple and easy to understand and, appropriately, used sparingly (any more pages and there would probably need to be two volumes!). Can’t remember the difference between Bilroth I and II? The diagrams on page 763 will make it clear. Struggling to get a handle on temporal bone anatomy before taking a trip to Louisville? Try page 366. Overall, the illustrations appear similar in number and form when compared with recent prior editions, as do most of the interspersed graphs, tables, and mnemonics. You will want to have access to a copy of this book when studying for the boards, written and oral, as a resident. It provides a quick means for associating key points with the various disease processes we image without having to head to the library and pull out numerous volumes or do extensive literature searches on the web. Although the information generally appears to be accurate, as Dr. Dahnert himself points out in the forward, “verification has to be left to the user.” I am sure my copy will be further creased and fraying, sitting on my bookshelf within easy reach, when the next addition comes along.
POCKET RADIOLOGIST–PDA VERSION, PEDIATRIC NEURORADIOLOGY, TOP 100 DIAGNOSES S. I. Blaser, et al. W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, PA and Amirsys, Salt Lake City, UT, $79.15.
I should start my review by disclosing a dislike for PDA (personal digital assistant) devices. Whether this is because I am technically challenged, odd, or maybe because I purchased a relatively inexpensive model, I cannot tell. I find the PDA version of this text cumbersome to use. To look up anything, one first must open the application, then choose a category of disease, and then scroll down an alphabetical list to find what one is looking for. There is no direct random access search and no cross-referencing as one would find in a text index. I have had the software on my PDA for several months now and have referred to it only once—and that time without success. The content of the software is a very concise reference for pediatric neuroradiology. Because it only purports to present the top 100 diagnoses, obviously it is not all-inclusive. The facts presented for each topic are finely distilled. There are two images per diagnosis and the images are of excellent quality. Up-to-date references are provided, as are clinical and pathologic data. This tool is not useful for me as a primary reference source, but if I already know (or think I know) a diagnosis and want a few quick facts, this package may occasionally save me the trouble of getting out of my chair, walking to the bookshelf, and thumbing through a textbook. Needless to say, I am one of those troglodytes who still prefers wood pulp and ink . . . and as for walking to the bookshelf, I need the exercise.
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Christopher W. Flye, MD University of North Carolina School of Medicine Chapel Hill, NC
Ken Lury, MD University of North Carolina School of Medicine Chapel Hill, NC