The book has two main purposes: formative case analysis and self-assessment of medicine in old age. It presents clinicians with a series of cases on which to base discussion of the investigation and management of patients. It also provides the trainee, or established doctor, with a medium to help prepare for post-graduate examinations and clinical practice.
The authors have chosen 109 cases, a total of 250 questions/answers, illustrated by colour photographs, diagrams and tables. The cases cover the main modes of presentation of acute illness in old age, such as fall, confusion, incontinence, weight loss and immobility, with examples from all the major systems. These illustrate the complexity of diagnosis and treatment of medical illness in frail older people and the need to think widely and laterally when caring for such patients.
The questions are mostly in best-of-five format to reflect the current style of multiple choice questions used in examination, though some are open questions as the basis for tutorials. Many of the clinical stems have been expanded to improve the educational function of the book and to test more rigorously the reader’s deductive thinking.