Date Published: 6 September 2018

BMA Medical Book Awards ceremony (London, 4th Sept) celebrates excellence in medical writing

The annual BMA Medical Book Awards ceremony took place at the British Medical Association's headquarters in London on Tues. evening (4th Sept '18). Once again a high number of entries had been received. 677 resources were submitted for the 2018 awards, approx. 5% more than last year1. In the initial stages about 400 volunteer judges had reviewed the textbooks and other resources, which were then considered by short listing panels. Those short-listed were then scrutinized further. At the ceremony the awards were announced by BMA council chair, Dr Chaand Nagpaul.

The top prize of BMA Medical Book of the Year was awarded to the Oxford Textbook of Sleep Disorders, edited by Sudhansu Chokroverty and Luigi Ferini-Strambi and published by Oxford University Press in July 2017.

BMA Medical Book of the Year: Oxford Textbook of Sleep Disorders

According to a statement on the BMA website2, this book was noted for its relevance in the age of the "tired generation" and praised for its effectiveness in broadening understanding of sleep disorders by offering advances in scientific, technical, clinical, and therapeutic aspects of sleep medicine. It has yet to receive reviews on or, perhaps due to the limited readership of textbooks in clinical neurology with fairly high price tags - in this case currently listed on those websites at $157.06 (USD)3 and £117.50 (GBP)4 respectively for a 560 page hardcover copy. As an indication of the scope of the material covered, the 'review' in the product description of this book on describes it as "a complete manual to set up a sleep clinic". That is consistent with the impression given by the preview feature: The Contents lists 12 distinct sections each of which contains chapters describing specific aspects of that topic written by expert contributors with many references.

Accepting the award, Prof K Ray Chaudhuri, Professor of movement disorders at Kings College London and one of the book's contributors, said2:

" It gives me great pleasure to accept this award on behalf of Prof Chokroverty and Prof Ferrini-Strambi. This book brings to the front the causes, impact and treatment of a range of sleep disorders, from sleep apnea to sleep problems in Parkinson's disease.
_It will hopefully be a major resource for doctors and allied health specialists across the world. I am thrilled to receive this award

Other Prizes and Awards

These medical book awards were established to identify and reward the most useful and innovative medical books in many categories including5,6 anaesthesia, cardiology, digital and online resources, health and social care, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics and gynaecology, oncology, paediatrics, pathology, popular medicine, primary health care, psychiatry, public health, radiology, and surgery.

Other special prize winners included6:

Having only been available to the public for a little over a year or less, it is not surprising that most of these books have yet to receive many reviews from students and others commenting on booksellers' websites. Although the opinions of such readers can be extremely helpful when browsing books online, awards from organizations such as the BMA also have much significance as well as prestige.

The category winners included the following, with many other textbooks (not listed here) receiving high commendations:

  • Anaesthesia: How to Survive in Anaesthesia, 5th Ed., by Neville Robinson, William Fawcett and George Hall
  • Basic and clinical sciences: The Cervical Spine: An atlas of normal anatomy and the morbid anatomy of ageing and injuries, by James Taylor
  • Basis of medicine: Faces from the Front: Harold Gillies, The Queen's Hospital, Sidcup and the Origins of Modern Plastic Surgery, by Andrew Bamji
  • Cardiology: The Interventional Cardiac Catheterization Handbook, 4th Ed., by Morton J Kern, Paul Sorajja and Michael J Lim
  • Digital and online resources: Grant's Dissection Videos by Alan J Detton
  • Health and social care: Pain: A Sociological Introduction by Elaine Denny
  • Internal medicine: Essentials of Kumar and Clark's Clinical Medicine, 6th Ed., Nicola Zammitt and Alastair O'Brien
  • Medicine: Talley & O'Connor's Clinical Examination, 8th Ed., Nicholas J Talley and Simon O'Connor
  • Neurology: Oxford Textbook of Sleep Disorders by Sudhansu Chokroverty and Luigi Ferini-Strambi
  • Obstetrics and gynaecology: Gynaecology by Ten Teachers, 20th Ed., by Helen Bickerstaff and Louise C Kenny
  • Oncology: Problem Solving in Patient-Centred and Integrated Cancer Care by Galina Velikova, Lesley Fallowfield, Jane Younger, Ruth E Board and Peter Selby
  • Paediatrics: Illustrated Textbook of Paediatrics, 5th Ed., by Tom Lissauer and Will Carroll
  • Pathology: Rosai and Ackerman's Surgical Pathology, 11th Ed., John R Goldblum, Laura W Lamps, Jesse K McKenney and Jeffrey L Myers
  • Popular medicine: Sorted: the active woman's guide to health by Juliet McGrattan
  • Primary healthcare: Handbook of Primary Care Ethics by Andrew Papanikitas and John Spicer
  • Psychiatry: Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the light of modern art, literature, and thought, Revised Ed., by Louis Sass
  • Public health: Plotkin's Vaccines, 7th Ed., by Stanley A Plotkin, Walter A Orenstein, Paul A Offit and Kathryn M Edwards
  • Radiology: Diagnostic Imaging: Interventional Procedures, 2nd Ed., by Brandt C Wible
  • Surgery: Plastic Surgery, 4th Ed., Peter C Neligan
  • Surgical specialties: Color Atlas of Brainstem Surgery by Robert F Spetzler, M Yashar S Kalani, Peter Nakaji and Kaan Yagmurlu

These awards provide a welcome opportunity to highlight textbooks and related materials deemed to be among the best released in the last year or so.

After presentation of this year's medical book awards BMA president, Professor Dinesh Bhugra CBE, addressed those present. This was followed by a closing address by BMA treasurer, Dr Anthea Mowat, then a buffet reception in the Lutyens Suite1. Congratulations are due to the winners and those highly commended not all of whom have been mentioned here.

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