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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ivan Damjanov, MD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This is the latest edition of the classic outline of pathology, which has been the essential vade mecum for most sophomore medical students in this country and many others abroad. For this edition, the book has been fully redesigned and, in my opinion, it is ready to stay on the market for another dozen years, if not longer. As an educator, I am a great fan of this book and I regularly recommend it to my students.
Purpose: It is designed as a study guide for medical students entering a pathology course. It was never meant to be the primary textbook, but in its condensed form it has become an essential guide and exegetic book for all those students who have decided to try to make it through the major textbooks. In my experience, many students, unfortunately, tend to take deep shortcuts and use this as the only source of information. Since they pass the national exams, I concluded that this book contains more than enough pathology facts for them to survive and probably even adequately prepare for the boards and clinics.
Audience: Intended for medical students studying pathology in their preclinical years, this book is especially useful for those who are preparing for major comprehensive examinations in their medical school or for the USMLE boards at the national level. It is also a good review for those who are trying to refresh their knowledge of pathology in their later professional life.
Features: All major aspects of general and systemic pathology are covered in a format that is typically used in most medical school in the U.S. and Canada, as well as many other countries. This edition is printed on glossy paper and the pictures are in color, which makes the book much more attractive. This edition also contains many more practice questions in the boards format, i.e., in a clinical-pathologic setting, which will also appeal to medical students.
Assessment: This brief outline of pathology, written in a synoptic form, is the leading currently available study guide for pathology students. It has been used widely for many years, and is unquestionably the best "second book" that most medical students buy to help them muddle through their typical sophomore pathology course. Even in the integrated preclinical courses, which are currently in fashion in more and more schools, the book will remain an essential "CliffsNotes" type aid for mastering pathology. This book is here to stay and it does not need my endorsement; most medical students will continue buying it and using it on the advice of the upperclass students. The authors deserve commendations for having recognized the need for such a book many years ago and for preparing it in such a concise and user friendly form. For this edition, they and their publisher deserve kudos for making it more attractive and more clinically oriented and thus even more useful to their ultimate users — those 20,000+ U.S. medical and allied health students who every year purchase it because apparently they cannot live without it. I continue to encourage them to keep buying this educational jewel, convinced that it could only help them understand and master pathology. I also recommend it to medical libraries, so that clinicians can use it to refresh their knowledge of pathology on short notice.