University of South Florida

When is the arrival of a textbook really special? When your teachers are the editors

Authors often compare publishing a book to birthing a baby – a metaphor that is even more apt when the book in question is THE medical textbook on high-risk pregnancy, delivery, and fetal health.

At 1,494 pages, the 9th edition of Creasy & Resnick’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice weighs in at 9.79 pounds – a good two pounds heftier than the average newborn baby. Clad in a glossy purple cover, it is a book that demands attention on any shelf.

“I should have warned you guys to bring a wheelbarrow for your books,” joked Dr. Judette Louis, professor and chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and one of seven co-editors of the newest edition.

The department celebrated the publication of the new edition with a book-signing breakfast Wednesday for its trainees: 24 OB/GYN residents and four fellows in Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM). Both Dr. Louis and Dr. Charles J. Lockwood, dean of the Morsani College of Medicine and executive vice president of USF Health, were on hand to sign each copy. The publisher describes the book as “the definitive reference in the field for more than 35 years.”

“I am incredibly honored that Drs. Creasy and Resnik honored me as the new chief editor,” said Dr. Lockwood. He noted that the book would be 400 or so pages longer if it included all the references, which are only listed online.

“It’s definitely a great weight-bearing exercise,” joked Dr. Lockwood about the textbook’s heft.

Jokes aside, the residents said the book signing was a nice recognition that the physicians they are learning from are among the nation’s top experts.

“Knowing that we have some of the best mentors in the field as we go on to our careers – I think it’s inspiring,” said resident Dr. Rachelle Price, who will start her MFM fellowship next year.

“It’s amazing,” said Dr. Danielle Hardman. “I went to medical school here, so Dr. Lockwood’s been here during all my time here. It’s an honor” to have her textbook signed by him.

Resident Dr. Brittany Manobianco said one of her friends, who is going into MFM, was especially excited to get her copy.

“This is her Taylor Swift tour,” she proclaimed.

Perhaps fortunately, Ticketmaster did not work on the books – but the editors definitely did. Each editor was assigned a different section of the book, which includes chapters by a variety of authors who are experts on a variety of maternal and fetal high-risk conditions, such as premature labor and pregnancy-related hypertension. Editors conducted multiple levels of review and fact checks to ensure that each chapter reflects the latest science, evidence and best practices.

And then they proofed it all over again.

“I read every word in this book,” Dr. Lockwood said. “Every. Single. Word.”

Just how familiar is Dr. Lockwood with Creasy & Resnick?

Back when he was an MFM fellow himself, Dr. Lockwood studied the textbook’s first edition.

Photos by Allison Long, USF Health Communications.

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