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100 Grey cases in paediatrics MRCPCH

4.5 out of 5 based on 2 customer ratings
(2 customer reviews)

£12.00

100 Grey cases in paediatrics for MRCPCH

This book was written in 2003 and it is my fourth book of the MRCPCH series of books. It sold more than 10,000 copies and was reviewed in the BMJ as well.

It contains 100 grey cases with long explanations. The cases are all real life ones from the writer’s personal collection and carry many challenges. This is one of the books you would find most useful as it is full of knowledge and will teach you many skills. It is valuable for anyone who practises paediatrics at the level of student, trainee and consultant.

There are 196 pages in this book and each page offers new knowledge and presents one new challenge for MRCPCH candidates. It is wise to read with someone else and take time to analyse it so that the diagnosis can be reached. It is important to write down at least three differential diagnoses before getting to the final answer. There is always a clue/s about each diagnosis you are finalising for each case.

Covering all the major topics, these cases are arranged into 10 question blocks, with each section providing a full and varied evening’s revision. As my special interest area is paediatric neurology, this comes across with detailed and pertinent explanations spanning important neurological conditions. From personal experience, if you can get to grips with the neurology topics then you are half way there. The questions concerned with infectious diseases is another area many trainees have difficulty with, and this is also explained well in an easy to read and absorb manner.

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2 reviews for 100 Grey cases in paediatrics MRCPCH

  1. 5 out of 5

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    Nagi G Barakat. (Pp 197; £15.95.) Royal Society of Medicine Press, 2003. ISBN 1-85315-524-1.

    Although wading through examination questions is a tedious and often superficial learning method, this book is a useful resource for pre-exam practice. The “grey case” type of question comprises of a fairly wordy clinical case description, together with a range of investigation results, is followed by a choice of one or more relevant options from a list. The candidate must choose the best one or more (as defined by the question) for the most appropriate further investigation or treatment. Many paediatric postgraduate trainees are unfamiliar with this method of assessment, although many undergraduate medical schools are moving to a similar format but usually using more abbreviated summaries to describe the clinical scenarios. Questions like this are not easy to construct without falling into the trap of cueing the answer to one question when a subsequent question is asked on the same case. The author effectively avoids this error. The cases are well written and feasible, although the use of some colloquialisms and occasional grammatical inaccuracy would be unusual in professional examinations.

    One of the greatest challenges for authors writing preparatory material for specific examinations is guessing the appropriate level of difficulty. As this book is specifically aimed at the MRCPCH, a check with the examination questions made available freely by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health allows a favourable comparison. This website link is http://www.rcpch.ac.uk/publications/examinations_documents.html.

    A number of the grey cases in Dr Barakat’s book are aimed at a rather more complex level, however this provides the link with the expanded answers in the sections that follow each series of questions. These are admirably concise. If readers attempt the question, commit themselves to giving an answer, and only then read the material that supports the correct answer, a great deal could be learnt in this active learning process.

    Overall this book is well structured, carefully written, and a likely to be a helpful resource for those preparing for this examination as well as useful discussion material for their teachers and trainers.

  2. 4 out of 5

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    Nagi G Barakat, London: Royal Society of Medicine, 2003, £15.95 (paperback), pp 197. ISBN 1 85315 524 1

    Well done. You’ve just received the letter from the college telling you of you success at passing the part one of membership. With a skip in your step you set about preparing for the part 2 written. You start to look through copious ECGs and lists of renal blood results and your registrar gives you their old picture book that you read each night while on the toilet. Things are going relatively well until you encounter your first grey case. You have heard much of this mythical creature that plagues the paediatric SHO. You try to defeat it but your efforts are pitiful in the face of such stiff opposition. Like the Sybil to your Basil it leaves you confused, frustrated, embarrassed, and downright cross—if only there was an unsuspecting guest to abuse. But fear no more, for this collection of one hundred real life grey cases is here to help.

    Covering all the major topics, these cases are arranged into 10 question blocks, with each section providing a full and varied evening’s revision. The fact that the questions are real life cases, and they read as such, brings a much needed everyday relevance to the hours of study. Many of the cases are accompanied by various imaging and benefit from doing so. One aspect that I particularly like is that the style of question accurately reflects the new style of exam, with several options for each stem—most other titles have open ended “what’s the diagnosis?” questions terminating a long passage of information.

    The author has a particular interest in paediatric neurology and this comes across with detailed and pertinent explanations spanning important neurological conditions. From personal experience, if you can get to grips with the neurology topics then you are half way there. The questions concerned with infectious diseases, another area many trainees have difficulty with, is also explained well in an easy to read and absorb manner.

    This text provides the revising trainee with realistic and fair clinical conundrums that have much wider applications than just in an examination hall. Like any good revision text this collection of cases allows you to forget you are actually revising, and by the end of the book you develop a knack for identifying the pertinent information and ignoring the red herrings. I am sure that this will soon appear on many trainees’ bookshelves.

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