It would have been back in the late 80’s or early 90’s when Will Maclean and Jane Lyttleton invited me to yum cha in Sydney’s Chinatown and asked me if I was interested in joining them in writing a TCM textbook.
I thought about it over our dumplings for about five minutes and decided not to join them, thinking it would be a lot of work. I was right, it was a lot of work. I hazard to guess how many hours they spent on researching, typing, compiling, editing, rewriting, reviewing and changing text before coming up with their first volume of Clinical Handbook of Internal Medicine. This then led to 3 volumes of this series.
Will Maclean, after the release of the 3rd volume and having made himself yin deficient was restless at night and decided to then initiate a 2nd Edition, combining all three volumes. He managed to recruit more helpers namely Mark Bayley and Kathryn Taylor who along with Jane Lyttleton then also became more yin deficient typing and researching to complete the current 2nd Edition.
The book is over 1600 pages long with nearly 90 diseases indepthly discussed. In particular readers will find the chapters on lingering pathogens, men’s health, diabetes, obesity and autoimmune disease most useful in their modern day clinics in the western setting.
For me, literally every complaint that I will ever see in the clinic is discussed in this book. The Chinese herbal medicine component is of course highly ranked by me with herbs in pin yin, Latin and characters and all referenced as to which source the information came from.
The herbalist will appreciate all the modifications suggested to help target the formula to address specific symptoms.
Those practitioners not versed in Chinese herbal medicine also have patents and pills added to the treatment protocol.
At the end of each disease discussion is a section on Clinical Notes where it discusses western medical treatments, complications as well as suggestions on lifestyle and diet.
Could the book be improved upon?
Will forgot mention that he has also lectured in New Zealand in the About the Authors section :-). Apart from that, I don’t think so. Unless perhaps for the 3rd edition, spice it up a bit with a leather cover and gold embossed paper edges.
This book should see me through for another twenty years or so in clinic.