Marooned recently for several weeks on a tropical island, I was fortunate in having the opportunity to preselect my reading material. My library was less complete than that available by chance to the Robinson family from Switzerland or to the English adventurer Crusoe. The volume I selected was A Short Textbook of Medicine, and I was not disappointed with the choice.
This small text, in a paperback edition, proved to be a refreshing account of clinical medicine as seen by three practicing physicians of London. It represents a basic core of clinical knowledge necessary for practice in a temperate climate among semisophisticated patients and in collaboration with competent colleagues. The text covers the major body organ systems as viewed by an internist and adds certain chapters about other disease groups. Eleven chapters are devoted to diseases of specific areas, the kidneys, muscles, the alimentary tract, the cardiovascular system, and so