Jason S. Hauptman
  1. Department of Neurosurgery, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095

Correspondence Address:
Jason S. Hauptman
Department of Neurosurgery, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095


Copyright: © 2011 Hauptman JS. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

How to cite this article: Hauptman JS. “Neurosurgery Oral Board Review” by Jonathan Stuart Citow and David Cory Adamson. Surg Neurol Int 12-Oct-2011;2:147

How to cite this URL: Hauptman JS. “Neurosurgery Oral Board Review” by Jonathan Stuart Citow and David Cory Adamson. Surg Neurol Int 12-Oct-2011;2:147. Available from:

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This is the second iteration of the popular oral board review text. Jonathan Citow, the lead author, is well known for his popular board review texts that have become staples among neurosurgery residents preparing for the written examination. This soft cover pocket-sized book is sized approximately 8¾ inches long and 5¾ inches wide and consists of 270 pages of text, including a glossary and index. For comparison purposes, the book is listed as $49.95 through Thieme's website.

On initial inspection, this book presents two main advantages. First, its size makes it non-obtrusive and easy to carry around in a lab coat pocket for those unexpected moments when one has time to sit and read (perhaps in between cases or during some downtime in clinic). Second, it is heavily illustrated with anatomic drawings and radiographs, which is critical for visualization of some of the complex concepts reviewed in this book. The only downside here is the lack of color visuals, though this is understandable because it allows the book costs to be kept down.

The book begins with a short introductory section describing some of the basic ideas surrounding the oral examination. Some helpful hints are provided, as well as some pearls of wisdom from the authors. I believe this is of great help to all those readers unfamiliar with how the oral examination is administered . The core of the text is then divided into three main sections. The first covers spine surgery (degenerative disease, trauma, tumors, etc.), the second covers cranial surgery (brain tumors, cerebrovascular surgery, trauma, etc.), and the final section covers everything else (functional, pediatric, peripheral nerve, critical care, and neurology).

The text itself is presented in the familiar outline style, with the core principles of each major subject presented and followed by a series of useful case vignettes (presumably similar in nature to what would be expected during the oral examination). All major subjects are covered so as to provide a useful framework with which to prepare for the examination. This book could potentially serve as both an outline to organize preparation as well as a rapid review to flip through the days before the examination.

In all, this is a great review text for an examination that many busy practicing neurosurgeons will thankfully have at their disposal to organize their studies. The authors are to be commended, yet again, on a job well done.

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