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Ovid: Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine

Editors: Longmore, Murray; Wilkinson, Ian B; Turmezei, Tom; Cheung, Chee Kay Title: Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine, 7th Edition Copyright ©2007 Oxford University Press > Front of Book > From the preface to the first edition From the preface to the first edition This book, written by junior doctors, is intended principally for medical students and house officers. The student becomes, imperceptibly, the house officer. For him we wrote this book not because we know so much, but because we know we remember so little. For the student the problem is not simply the quantity of information, but the diversity of places from which it is dispensed. Trailing eagerly behind the surgeon, the student is admonished never to forget alcohol withdrawal as a cause of post-operative confusion. The scrap of paper on which this is written spends a month in the white coat pocket before being lost for ever in the laundry. At different times, and in inconvenient places, a number of other causes may be presented to the student. Not only are these causes and aphorisms never brought together, but when, as a surgical house officer, the former student faces a confused patient, none is to hand. We aim to encourage the doctor to enjoy his patients: in doing so we believe he will prosper in the practice of medicine. For a long time now, house officers have been encouraged to adopt monstrous proportions in order to straddle simultaneously the diverse pinnacles of clinical science and clinical experience. We hope that this book will make this endeavour a little easier by moving a cumulative memory burden from the mind into the pocket, and by removing some of the fears that are naturally felt when starting a career in medicine, thereby freely allowing the doctor’s clinical acumen to grow by the slow accretion of many, many days and nights. R.A.H. & J.M.L. 1985

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