Title: Forensic Gynaecology
Editor: Maureen Dalton
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Reviewer: Martyn Tee
What was it like?
This is a text book covering the syllabi for various professional examinations including DFCASA, LFFLM, MFFLM(SOM) Part 2, and the RCOG ATSM in forensic gynaecology. The writers therefore presume a fair amount of prior knowledge as it is intended for those with advanced skills or those studying to acquire them. It is divided into chapters to allow the reader to expand their knowledge on specific topics, which may be relevant to them. There are a number of different contributors and each chapter has its own style, but the layout in general is easy to follow. Paragraphs are kept reasonably short and there are clear, bold headers which accurately describe the contents of the following paragraph. For those who prefer more visual representation, there are not many diagrams and no photographs. There is also no colour with all diagrams being represented in black, white or shades of grey. However I would urge you not to let this put you off as it is a compact, succinct yet comprehensive text.
What were the highlights?
This book is an inclusive text, including insights into less well documented topics such as sexual assault in the elderly. Particularly useful are the chapters on statement writing and court room skills, which are often more foreign even to the experienced clinical practitioner. Especially interesting is the chapter on forensic science and the sexual assault examination kit.
Strengths & weaknesses:
This is a comprehensive text, precluding the need for accumulation of different books on different aspects of forensic gynaecology. The layout is clear, as is the language providing the reader has some background knowledge of forensics and gynaecology. It will be particularly useful for those preparing for the above examinations. It is disappointing not to see better use of images and particularly of colour. However it would be well suited for those keen on the use of highlighter pens.
Who should read it?
This book is aimed at doctors and nurses who work within forensics but also those working in gynaecology, sexual health, emergency medicine and for counsellors and psychologists who work with the victims of sexual assault.