Any practitioner of medicine who daily watches the pile of unread journals grow on the desk, spill over to the coffee table, and invade bookshelves will find solace in Dr Gehlbach's second edition of Interpreting the Medical Literature. Designed as a "practical aid to the beleaguered clinician," the book not only delivers on its primary promise, but abolishes the feelings of guilt and inadequacy that burgeoning stacks of journals tend to engender in physicians.
Following the admonition of Francis Bacon, the author assures the reader that, as regards books and articles, only some few need "to be chewed and digested." Gehlbach counsels readers to extract the core of an article and quotes Mortimer Adler, philosopher and proponent of the Great Books program, who advises reading a book "with x-ray eyes, for it is an essential part of your first apprehension of any book to grasp its structure."
It is evident