Description: Although "Laboratory Medicine" is part of the title, the primary focus of this book is on evidence-based medicine principles as applied to anatomic pathology.
Purpose: The purpose is to introduce evidence-based medicine principles and their application to the practice of pathology.
Audience: Although it doesn't specify an audience, the book would be useful for medical students or residents early in their pathology residency training. It also would be useful to practicing pathologists who are interested in evidence-based medicine and its application to everyday pathology practice.
Features: The book is divided into two major sections: principles and fundamentals of evidence-based medicine (e.g., biostatistics, meta-analyses, decision analysis, and support); and applications to specific issues in pathology (e.g., literature review and integration with personal experience, use of EBM to develop diagnostic or prognostic criteria or to determine when research tests are ready to transition into the clinical arena, etc.). As a laboratory medicine specialist, I am periodically reminded of the ever-widening divide between anatomic pathology and laboratory medicine. This book illustrates this schism. While the editors think much of this material may be novel for anatomic pathology, it is very familiar and has been part of laboratory medicine for decades. I had a feeling of deja vu for my laboratory medicine residency training in the mid-1980s, as this book recapitulated lessons and applications in laboratory medicine from then. While this book is very useful for introducing EBM concepts for anatomic pathology practice, I would not recommend it for laboratory medicine specialists because there is a much larger body of more mature EBM literature in laboratory medicine (e.g., Evidence-Based Laboratory Medicine: Principles, Practice, and Outcomes, 2nd edition, Price and Christenson (AACC Press, 2007) and many peer-reviewed published articles for individual analytes/instrument platforms or test methods from the last few decades.
Assessment: This is a provocative book useful for readers relatively unfamiliar with evidence-based medicine and interested in its application to anatomic pathology practice.