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Hospitalist Neurology. Blue Books of Practical Neurology

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    Hospitalist Neurology. Blue Books of Practical Neurology. Edited bymartin a samuels. (Pp 748, £70.00). Published by Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford, 1999. ISBN 0750697792.

    It seems that there is a new specialty in North American neurology, hospitalist neurology. The drive to promote managed health care has apparently resulted in hospitals “filled to overflowing with more acutely ill patients requiring a pace of evaluation unprecedented anywhere in the world”. Enter the hospitalist neurologist. Unencumbered by the demands of outpatient neurology, he or she stumbles through the wards of the general hospital “faced with a dizzying array of neurologic problems”. Most British neurologists have a ward referral practice and will not be impressed by its elevation to the status of a specialty and still less by the agrammatical title Martin Samuels has chosen for it. Which is a shame, because this book deserves a wide readership. One in the Butterworth Heinmann series of Blue Books of Practical Neurology, it is attractively produced and reasonably well illustrated. Its place on your bookshelf is earned by collating the neurological aspects of diverse medical specialties: to name a few, organ transplantation, orthopaedics, oncology, and urology. A quick glance here before a ward referral might well be rewarding. However, the chapters on more conventional neurological topics, such as neuro-ophthalmology, stroke, and seizures are probably briefer than most neurologists would require. So, for those made dizzy by the delirious patient after bypass, the encephalopathic flapping on the transplant ward, or the weak and wasted on intensive care units, this is for you. And remember: you are a hospitalist neurologist.