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Preface to the third edition 

Preface to the third edition
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Advances in modern medicine continue to improve the diagnostic and care pathways for patients. Keeping track of developments within one’s own specialty can sometimes be difficult and, considering internal medicine as a whole, it is virtually impossible for most of us to remember which tests are required and in which specific situations.

This new and updated version of the Oxford Handbook of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation reflects today’s practice. Major updating has been carried out particularly in the Cardiology, Poisoning and Rheumatology chapters. Other chapters have been updated where necessary, bringing them in line with current guidelines.

In addition, new and better quality illustrations have been used, and the line art has been redrawn to provide extra clarity. We have also cross-referenced where possible to the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine, 8th edn, Oxford University Press.

The OUP team have been patient with us and has kept the project moving along. The writing team has managed to deliver great content, which is no mean feat when considering how busy each of them is delivering care to their patients. I am indebted to them for making this book relevant and readable for clinicians of all grades.

As before, I take responsibility for errors or omissions in the book and welcome any comments readers may have. This book is meant to be used, rather than kept on a bookshelf, and its usability relies on feedback from readers, so please contact me at if there is anything you feel could be improved in the next edition.

Drew Provan