I suspect that if Dominic Corrigan (famous for the metaphorical escape route afforded to busy clinicians) was a urologist he would most certainly have had a copy of the The 5-Minute Urology Consult and would have then subsequently been famous instead for a secret drawer (rather than door) where he would undoubtedly have hidden his secret text.

Because this book does exactly what it says on the tin. It provides short snappy answers to all the regular (and more importantly irregular) complaints that find their way to clinic (as well as the emergency department and to a certain extent the recovery room). A short perusal of perhaps some of the more mainstream complaints may leave the first-time reader a little uninspired (although all sections are well referenced and well described). Its real value, however, is in the management of those niche interests to which many of us who still run ‘general’ urology clinics will not necessarily come across regularly (or at least infrequently enough to have some doubt about how best a particular condition is managed or – if nothing else – best investigated).

In addition to the comprehensive ‘consults’ there are some very useful algorithms, which attempt to address difficult clinical scenarios rather than just providing answers to more defined clinical diagnoses. Simple scenarios such as pyuria are axiomatically delineated into step-by-step guides to investigation and diagnosis. Their value lies not with the description of the obvious but in the management of the more esoteric and where mental algorithms (defined and enhanced by many years of clinical practice) are exhausted and where the navigation of more minor pathways is a little less certain. Female urethral prolapse, urethral discharge as a result of reactive arthritis, and Rosewater syndrome were one week’s worth of queries with which I tested it. It came up trumps each time.

Whilst the overall feel of the text is uncomfortably North American the necessarily rather didactic nature of some of the management options can easily be forgiven as a necessary evil for such a useful resource.

I don’t have a secret drawer (or door) in outpatients where I can keep this – so its sits on my desk at home! I would recommend this to everyone.

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Tim Lane

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust.

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