Editors: Kai Matthes, MD; Anjolie E. Laubach, MD; Ellen Wang, MD; and T. Anthony Anderson, MD
Publisher: Oxford University Press – 698 pages
Book Review by: Nano Khilnani

It was only in 2013 that board certification in pediatric anesthesiology became a requirement. The reason for this? To formally recognize the need for expertise in perioperative care of children for surgical, and even diagnostic procedures.

Within the field of pediatric anesthesiology, there are those that specialize in management of chronic pain, and regional anesthesia guided by ultrasound. So no doubt this field is expanding, just as other medical subspecialties.

So what do you need to do prior to becoming a board-certified pediatric anesthesiologist? After having completed college, then three to four years of medical school, then a residency in anesthesiology which can be as long as four years, and finally a one- to two-year fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology.

Beyond that, training in cardiac anesthesia and intensive care for pediatric patients can be pursued, besides pain management and regional anesthesia, as we mentioned above.

This book helps you to prepare for the examination that will enable you to pass it successfully and get you board-certified.

Fifty-nine people contributed to this review guide that is used to prepare for taking the U.S. Board Exam in Anesthesiology. The authors of the chapters are mainly anesthesia specialists with MD degrees, a few with PhDs, and one person with a DO. Except for two people in Thailand, the rest are in the United States.

The material is found in 28 chapters organized around five Sections we list below. This is an overview of what you will find (and may not find) in this book:

  • Basic Science
    • Anatomy
    • Physics and Anesthesia Equipment
    • Pharmacology
  • Organ-Based Basic and Clinical Sciences
    • Respiratory System
    • Cardiovascular System
    • Central Nervous System
    • Gastrointestinal System
    • Renal and Urinary System
    • Endocrine / Metabolic System
    • Hematology / Oncology
    • Genetics
  • Clinical Subspecialties
    • Fetal
    • Neonatal
    • Painful Disease States
    • Otolaryngology
    • Plastic and Maxillary Facial Surgery
    • Ophthalmology
    • Orthopedic Surgery
    • Trauma and Burns
  • Clinical Science of Anesthesia
    • Evaluation of Coexisting Disease
    • Fluid, Electrolyte and Temperature Management
    • Regional Anesthesia
    • General Anesthesia
    • Complications of Anesthesia
    • Special Techniques and Situations
    • Postoperative Period
  • Special Problems or Issues
    • Professional Issues
    • Principles of Biostatistics and Study Design

This book contains more than 600 questions conforming to the American Board of Pediatric Anesthesiology (ABPA) standards. It includes a comprehensive review of each subtopic in the content outline.

Each answer discussion provides a thorough overview of the subject for rapid recall. Numerous figures and tables allow for efficient consolidation of key facts during review.  There are also References (lists of major texts and seminal papers) after each answer discussion that you can consult, on each subject matter covered in this review book.

This book follows a straightforward, non-nonsense, efficient format. In each of its 28 chapters, the questions are presented, and multiple-choice answers are given. You choose what you think is the correct answer to each question. Then you turn the pages to the Chapter Answers section.

You will find in that section not only the correct answer, but detailed reasoning for why this is the correct answer. Below that is a section entitled Key Facts that enlightens you further. And, following each correct answer is a list of References as we mention above.

This outstanding exam review book also contains illustrations to enable you to understand the subject matter more easily and retain important information. As has been said, a picture is worth a thousand words.

On the very first page of this book you will find a card that provides you free personal online access for 12 months. Simply go to: https://subscriberservices.com/token to set up access. Enter the unique code found on that card, and register your book.



Kai Matthes, MD, PhD is Associate Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School; and Associate in Perioperative Anesthesia in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

Anjolie E. Laubach, MD is Instructor in Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Perioperative Anesthesia in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

Ellen Wang, MD is Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California.

T. Anthony Anderson, PhD, MD is Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School; and is affiliated with the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.