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BMA Library

2015 BMA Medical Book Awards

Medical Book and Patient Information Awards 2014

The BMA Medical Book Awards take place annually to recognise outstanding contributions to the medical literature.

Prizes are awarded in 21 categories, with an overall BMA Medical book of the year award made from the category winners.

Special prizes are awarded for the BMA Illustrated Book Award, the BMA Student Textbook Award, the BMA Young Authors Award, and the BMA Council Chair's Choice. There is also a BMA President's Choice award. These special prizes are chosen from all of the shortlisted books.

Our judging panel awards books for their applicability to audience, production quality and originality.

The BMA Medical Book Awards were held on Thursday 3 September 2015. Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green Kt, BMA President, was guest of honour. You can see the winning books below.

Entries for the 2016 Awards will open in mid December.

Download the 2015 Book Awards ceremony programme

Email us with any comments or enquiries

Photos from the ceremony


Awards winners and prizes

BMA Medical Book of the Year 2015

Practical Management of Complex Cancer PainPractical Management of Complex Cancer Pain
by Manohar L. Sharma, Sanjeeva Gupta, Michael I. Bennett, and Karen H. Simpson
Published by Oxford University Press
(ISBN: 9780199661626. £39.99)

This is a short practical guide which I will absolutely be keeping on my clinic desk.  

The reviewer

Manohar Sharma is Consultant in Pain Medicine at The Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery NHS Foundation Trust, London. Karen Simpson is a Consultant in Pain Medicine at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust.  Michael Bennett is St Gemma's Professor of Palliative Medicine at Leeds Institute of Health Services, University of Leeds. Sanjeeva Gupta is a Consultant in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia at Bradford Royal Infirmary. 

The book provides advice on advanced pain management techniques for cancer pains. Emphasis is placed on the suitability and selection of patients for different invasive and complex procedures based on the patient's history. Case histories provide compressive insight into the complexities of holistic management, with pain being only one of the factors that distress patients and families. The book also covers cancer pain management for patients in a community setting including, the collaboration between pain and palliative medicine. This practical guide to managing complex cancer pain provides accessible guidance for patient selection for different invasive and complex techniques in including  advanced pain management techniques for all cancer pains, case histories and suggested pain management plans. 

It was reviewed by Dr Ian R Wilson FFPMRCA, FRCA, Consultant in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia and Chairman of the BMA Representative Body: "There is sufficient detail to be a ready-reference to those with specialist expertise needing a dip-in reminder/reference, as well as sufficient high level clear narrative for someone with relatively little prior expertise. Importantly, the book gives an insight across specialist areas for those involved in what should be a more multi-disciplinary area than it may always be.  This is a short practical guide which I will absolutely be keeping on my clinic desk.”


The BMA Illustrated Book Award

Operative Techniques in SurgeryOperative Techniques in Surgery
by Michael W. Mulholland.
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (ISBN: 9781451186314)

Michael W. Mulholland, is Frederick A. Coller Distinguished Professor of Surgery at University of Michigan Health Systems. 

This book is a new comprehensive, two-volume surgical atlas that helps the reader master a full range of general surgical procedures. It is ideal for residents as well as experienced surgeons, it guides the reader step-by-step through each technique using concise, bulleted text, full-colour illustrations, and intraoperative photographs to clarify exactly what to look for and how to proceed.

It was reviewed by Dr Michael Kitchen, foundation trainee doctor in Leeds, who commented: “I would recommend this book both for someone at my level and with more experience. It is a well-presented index of surgical techniques that will be very helpful in my future career.  It covers a wide range of surgical procedures including modern techniques. Explanations are detailed and gives a logical guide starting with definitions and differentials. This is an excellent book, logical and well-presented. The descriptions have the correct level of detail and focus of difficult aspects of each technique and it includes good illustrations and pictures."


The BMA Student Textbook Award

Making Sense of the ECG (4th Edition)Making Sense of the ECG: A Hands-On Guide. 4th edition
Andrew R. Houghton and David Gray
Published by CRC Press (ISBN 9781444181821 £19.99)

Andrew R. Houghton, Consultant Cardiologist, Grantham and District Hospital; Visiting Fellow, University of Lincoln

David Gray, Reader in Medicine and Honorary Consultant Physician, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, University Hospital, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham

Comprehensive update of this popular, easy-to-read and easy-to-remember practical guide to the ECG as a tool for diagnosis and management.  It has a strong clinical emphasis – focusing on correct diagnosis and appropriate action for rapid reference in the emergency department, ward or outpatient setting. The new larger format – allows for presentation of full 12-lead ECG traces throughout.

The reviewer commented: "This easy-to-use and broad-ranging guide is not really original but it’s of very high quality and easy to read. The excellent summary points make it easy to revise knowledge. The format is larger than most ECG books so the quality of reproduced ECGs is excellent.  It is a well above average example of this type of ECG textbook. I would recommend it highly to medical students.”


BMA Young Authors Award

CSA Cases Workbook for the MRCGPCSA Cases Workbook for the MRCGP
by Ellen Welch, Irina Zacharcenkova, and Jennifer Lyall
Published by Scion Publishing Ltd (ISBN 9781907904127 £49.99)

Ellen Welch is a GP in Brook Green Medical Centre in Hammersmith.  Irina Zacharcenkova is a GP in Tauranga New Zealand. Jennifer Lyall is a GP in Oxford Street Surgery in Workington, Cumbria.

This is a workbook which provides GP trainees with a comprehensive revision guide, enabling them to structure their revision for the MRCGP CSA exam around our case scenarios which are linked to the RCGP curriculum statement areas. It outlines how to set up a study group and organise practice time together, and how to get the most out of the sessions using the extensive case list provided.  The exam itself is explained in detail and we outline how the exam is run, including practicalities and tips to use on the day. For each curriculum statement area, the book provides trainees with: revision notes highlighting the latest NICE/SIGN guidelines; resources that could be offered to the patient; a list of topics, tests and procedures that you should be able to explain to the patient in simple terms; a list of procedures you should be able to undertake confidently.   

The authors have commented that: “We hoped that through our personal experience and straightforward structured approach we could save a lot of time and stress for other trainees about to sit the exam, and certainly the feedback we have had from colleagues is that it does achieve this!  Through our very recent experience of doing our own revision towards this exam, we realised that the books available on the market did not provide us with the resources we were looking for in the form of realistic case studies which broadly cover the curriculum. Our book filled this gap by providing a realistic revision plan for trainees to follow combined with tips we found useful when planning and running study sessions with colleagues. The unique workbook style allows trainees to remove the cases easily so they are more user-friendly in a group scenario, and also means the resource can be purchased jointly by a group of trainees studying together, and shared between them.”

It was reviewed by Dr John R Rawlinson BM BCH MA MRCGP PCME, a GP in Berkshire who commented: “The CSA is difficult to teach because there are few comprehensive good source materials. As a GP Trainer I found it very helpful and would recommend it to my GP Registrar as a comprehensive source book. The book meets a gap in the market. It has the advantage of being written by CSA examiners so meets the needs of the GP Registrar.”


BMA Council Chair's Choice

Being MortalBeing Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End
Atul Gawande
Published by Profile Books (ISBN 9781846685811 £15.99)

Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, is a surgeon, writer, and public health researcher.  He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Samuel O. Thier Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He is also Executive Director of Ariadne Labs, a joint centre for health systems innovation, and Chairman of Lifebox, a non-profit organization making surgery safer globally.

Atul Gawande examines his experiences as a surgeon, as he confronts the realities of aging and dying in his patients and in his family, as well as the limits of what he can do.  

It was reviewed by Dr Patricia Goode, MA,MB BChir,MRCGP,Dip HE(Theology), who is a retired doctor from Dorking. “I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wanted to learn more about the subjects of getting old and becoming infirm. It should be read by anyone interested in the subject of terminal illness and dying. This book is a must; its greatest strength is its universal appeal. It certainly meets the needs of its intended audience but goes far beyond this. We all, at some time or other, have contact with the ageing and infirm.  His book is about the modern experience of mortality, about what it is like to grow old and die. Its objective is to show how medicine has changed the experience and how it has not.  It outlines where our ideas about how to deal with our finitude have got the reality wrong. Its intended readership is all those who have any contact at all with those who are old, infirm and need care. This includes all grades involved in healthcare, whatever their role. It also includes the families and friends of those who grow old. So this means nearly all of us.  I recommend this as a book to be read by all.  These objectives are very well-supported by Gwande's own experiences in medical practice, by many case histories of patients he has known and treated over the years and by his own family experience. His family come from an Indian background and so some of his thoughts on family care are very different from those in the West. They are equally important and intriguing. In particular, he outlines some of the experimental approaches in care homes and hospices in the USA where the staff have tried to improve the lot of its patients by introducing animals, plants and in-house child care for the carers so that children are around.  He has noted the greatly improved attitude of mind of those approaching their last days by these simple methods. Never before has aging been such an important subject, as our aging population increases alarmingly and so much more care is needed. Most books on terminal care are written solely from a medical point of view. Gwande approaches the problem head on, realising that the systems we have put in place are manifestly failing. In this book he points out that it does not have to be this way. The ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life – all the way to the very end. There is an excellent ‘notes on sources’ at the end which I found most informative and have been encouraged to look up some of the original references. The text and the footnotes are mostly up-to-date, although naturally some of the case histories go back over the years. Gwande uses much of his own experience with patients he has treated in the past. He also draws on his family experiences particularly when his own father, a distinguished surgeon, becomes ill and paralysed. Other material comes from his experience in American care homes and hospices where the staff have worked out ways to make the experience of dying better for their patients.  This material proves to be most effective in getting over the message.  This book will help us to treat them more compassionately. I have certainly much enjoyed reading it. It will be of help to me in my advancing years. I look forward to reading it again in a few months’ time! This is a most unusual book written on a most important subject.”


BMA President's Choice

Point-of-Care UltrasoundPoint-of-Care Ultrasound
by Nilam J. Soni, Robert Arntfield and Pierre Kory
Published by Elsevier (ISBN 9781455775699. $89.99)

Nilam Soni, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Hospital Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Robert Arntfield, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Divisions of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care Medicine, Western University, London Health Sciences Centre, London, Ontario, Canada
Pierre Kory, MPA, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Fellowship Program Director, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York

The use of portable ultrasound machines has been growing and physicians from any specialty can now use them for a wide variety of procedural and diagnostic applications.  Point-of-care Ultrasound is a book designed for physicians and healthcare providers from any specialty who need a comprehensive book showing them how to use portable ultrasound in their everyday practice.  While other ultrasound books are either dense or limited in scope, Point-of-Care Ultrasound presents the information in a colourful and well-designed handbook format and includes more than 60 case studies and nearly 300 videos accessible online.  The book guides the reader through techniques of image acquisition, as well as principles of image interpretation across dozens of organ systems and clinical presentations.  The book concludes with chapters on integration of point-of-care ultrasound into clinical practice to guide important diagnostic and treatment decisions.


BMA President's Choice Joint Runner Up

Rheumatology (6th Edition)Rheumatology 6th Edition
By Marc C. Hochberg, Alan J. Silman, Josef S. Smolen, Michael E. Weinblatt and Michael H. Weisman
Published by Elsevier (ISBN 9780323091381 $449)

Marc C. Hochberg, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine; Head, Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA ; Alan J. Silman, MD, ARC Professor of Rheumatic Disease Epidemiology, Director, ARC Epidemiology Research Unit, University of Manchester, UK; Josef S. Smolen, MD, Professor of Medicine, Chairman, Department of Internal Medicine III, Division of Rheumatology, Medical University of Vienna; Chairman, Second Department of Medicine, Center for Rheumatic Diseases, Hietzing Hospital, Vienna, Austria ; Michael E. Weinblatt, MD, John R. and Eileen K. Riedman Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA and Michael H. Weisman, MD, Chief, Division of Rheumatology, Professor of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, David Geffen School of Medicine and UCLA, Los Angeles, California, UA

This medical reference book provides extensive, authoritative coverage of rheumatic diseases from basic scientific principles to practical points of clinical management in a lucid, logical, user-friendly manner.  This comprehensive reference work is designed to meet the needs of the busy clinician by providing extensive, authoritative coverage of rheumatic diseases from basic scientific principles to practical points of clinical management.


BMA President's Choice Joint Runner Up

Seeing Beyond DementiaSeeing Beyond Dementia: A Handbook for Carers with English as a Second Language
Rita Salomon
Published by Radcliffe Publishing (ISBN 9781846198922 £21.99)

Rita Salomon has worked in the field of teaching communication skills and English as a foreign language for over 20 years. She has specialised in working with medical professionals.

This unique guide is specifically designed for dementia carers with English as a second language. It is a concise compendium of current thinking on person-centred dementia care that features sample vocabulary and sentences ideal for working specifically with dementia patients. It focuses on the importance of good day-to-day communication skills and positive interaction between patients and carers during different activities.  The goal is to make those with English as a second language more comfortable and effective in their role as a carer for someone with dementia, as communication is a significant part of their responsibility.


Awards were also assigned to numerous books by category.

See the full list of medical book award winners by category

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