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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Roberta B. Carey, PhD (Loyola University Medical Center)
Description: This 274-page pocket size book is a Reader's Digest of microbiology facts ranging from taxonomic classification to microbial identification and reportable diseases. It is a book of tables and charts, not descriptive paragraphs.
Purpose: The book is written for the laboratory director or supervisor who may have to retrieve many important facts on a moment's notice. It contains useful charts translating the generic names of antibiotics to their trade names and lists of biochemical tests to separate similar bacterial species. How well this guide serves this purpose will be realized with time as I carry my copy in my pocket.
Audience: The target audience is the professional microbiologist who has been given formal training in clinical microbiology, and finds it impossible to remember all the trivia that may be asked. The author is a well-respected laboratory director at a large medical center, who has found a need for this type of book in his own practice.
Features: A limited number of black-and-white illustrations are included, primarily in the areas of parasitology and epidemiology. The taxonomy is current. The book is soft-covered and meant to fit inside the lab coat pocket. It contains an extensive table of contents that precedes the eight sections of tables and charts. The bibliography is confined to major textbooks published within the last five years.
Assessment: The aim of this book is to put microbiology facts and information where the user can access them. As we all fish for the correct data on rounds or at a conference, this handy book provides many facts at one's fingertips. I envision a computerized version in a hand-held calculator type format that would replace this text as an essential tool for the clinical microbiologist.