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By TienYin Wong. Pp 448; $84. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2001. ISBN 9810243995
Preparing for postgraduate examinations is now a nearly universal event for ophthalmologists in training. In many countries it will become a part of a practising ophthalmologist’s professional life as well. Preparation books for these types of examination are increasingly being published. Dr Tien Yin Wong has written a book to prepare ophthalmologists for postgraduate examinations. Granted this book is addressed primarily to those who take the British style examinations but it could be easily used by trainees in countries where exams are slightly different. This book is organised in a clear fashion with specific topics being outlined in a bullet point fashion. Important information is highlighted in bold print and the table of contents and index are both well organised and detailed enough that information can be found quickly and almost flawlessly. The topics covered include all of the classic subspecialty areas of ophthalmology and some additional miscellaneous areas including lasers in ophthalmology and epidemiology, public health, and research methods. The author also attempts to prioritise examination material with a system of stars that are meant to rate the likelihood that the material under review is commonly used in testing circumstances. This prioritisation attempt is perhaps the least successful part of the book. Overall, however, Dr Wong includes an enormous amount of information in just over 400 pages, and has done so in an attractive way. The book is easy to read with outline forms and lots of highlighted information in box or table presentations. While there has been an obvious attempt to make this book concise and to the point this reader still finds it slightly unnerving that no references are included. However, this is a book that is meant to prepare one for tests and not to provide detailed reference information. It easily and successfully fulfils this role.