This latest version of Therapeutic Guidelines: Endocrinology is an excellent reference source for busy general practitioners. Given the rise in many endocrine-related conditions, this is timely. The layout is simple and easy to follow with more space devoted to common conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis, although a large number of conditions are still covered. There is a concise and succinct drug summary at the start of the book called `Getting to know your drugs' allowing easy cross-referencing from the text. There are also some brief appendices on endocrine emergencies, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for those interested in searching further, related web sites.
The diabetes sections are well set out and reinforce the current diagnostic criteria based on American Diabetes Association/World Health Organization guidelines. Treatment targets are up to date as is the advice on treating difficult complications such as neuropathy. Current drug therapies are outlined logically, but some drugs such as the `glitazones' are not available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Osteoporosis is now high on the agenda of many general practitioners and this section is excellent with clear, current principles on diagnosis, prevention and management. All of the drugs described are available and well known to general practitioners, making the reading very practical.
Under the sections on contraception there is good coverage of topical issues such as depot medroxyprogesterone, the etonogestrel implant and the levonorgestrel intrauterine devices. Similarly there is a comprehensive and easy to read discussion on hormone replacement therapy addressing most of the well-known controversies.
Overall this book reads extremely well and fulfils the general practitioner's need for evidence-based guidelines, in a short but easily understood form. It compares well with other general practice guidelines such as Evidence Based Medicine.
David Mills has been in rural general practice for 15 years. He is a clinical lecturer at the Department of General Practice at the University of Adelaide and sits on the South Australian Diabetes Advisory Group.