As a reviewer of medical books for 20 years, there have crossed my desk many books, manuals, paperbounds, and pamphlets written for general public or the patient with a specific disease or injury. The authors have included (1) eminent physicians and surgeons, (2) well-publicized journalists innocent of medical knowledge, (3) physicians who like to write, and (4) unknown people sponsored by publishing houses, drug firms, or foundations of various types and calibers. The cost to the patient varied from none to five dollars; the value varied as widely.
Are such publications actually used by the patient or his responsible relatives? Are they worth the cost, in money and time? For many years, I have had an interest in painful conditions of muscles and joints. Several years ago, there was published a text on arthritis; on what the patient could do about it himself and at least cost. It was sponsored