French’s Index of Differential Diagnosis An A-Z 1 16th Edition
French’s ‘Index’ was first published in 1912. The aim of this volume remains unchanged from the original statement by Herbert French in the first paragraph of his original preface; it is an alphabetic index to help in the differential diagnosis of any condition which may be seen in hospital or general practice. Essentially it is a book for the clinician. With modern transport, regional disease barriers have broken down. Moreover, the time it takes to get anywhere in the world is considerably less than the incubation period of almost all the infectious diseases. So, tropical illnesses are no longer confined to the tropics and one country’s epidemic may appear anywhere else in the world in record time. This, together with the massive increase in iatrogenic diseases, makes the art and science of differential diagnosis more interesting than ever before – and vastly more complex too! The first two editions of this book were edited by Herbert French. Subsequent editors, in turn, were Arthur Douthwaite, his colleague at Guy’s Hospital, then Sir Adolphe Abrahams of Westminster Hospital, and then Frank Dudley Hart, also of Westminster. The thirteenth edition had as its editors Professor Ian Bouchier of Edinburgh, the late Peter Fleming of Westminster Hospital, and Harold Ellis. The 14th, 15th and current 16th edition again has Harold Ellis, who is responsible for topics of a ‘surgical’ nature, and he is joined by Mark Kinirons, responsible for the sections on ‘medical’ subjects.
As for the contributors, we have retained a number of old friends and recruited new ones, all chosen carefully for their specialist knowledge and teaching skills. We thank them for their splendid work, although we take full responsibility for the contents of this book. ‘French’ has now been completely revised – many sections are largely rewritten, new ones added, diagnostic methods updated, many old illustrations replaced and others inserted. The emphasis, however, remains the same – the importance of a careful history, detailed clinical examination and the judicious use of laboratory and imaging investigations in the elucidation of the correct diagnosis. We hope that this new edition of French’s Index will continue to serve the medical profession, both in the United Kingdom and overseas, as it has done now for more than ninety years.
Mark T. Kinirons and Harold Ellis
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