on July 5, 2010
I used "Cecil's essentials" or "little Cecil's" as a medical student 20 years ago. As a subspecialist with a family, I found Harrison's and Cecil textbooks too large and detailed to be practical to keep up on advances in other fields of internal medicine. I was looking for a general review of internal medicine to supplement my subspecialty CME and case based reading (usually [...]).
I rediscovered Cecil Essentials and what a pleasant surprise! Clinically focussed without excessive basic science detours, excellent editing/typography/illustrations, and up to date, it is excellent to make sure I don't fall behind in general internal medicine. It's light enough to read while sitting with family, before bed, and to take on trips.
Here are recent examples that I would not have picked up without a textbook:
-chemotherapy for myelodysplasia
-memantine for Alzheimer's
-role of bronchiolitis in COPD
No textbook is perfect. An overview of level 1 treatment evidence for conditions where it exists would be nice and not too long. I think my own field of critical care medicine needs a bit more exposure. To skip dermatology is odd.
But overall, I highly recommend this book for a solid overview of internal medicine for all stages from medical school through generalists and medical subspecialists.