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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Emma Khan, MD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This outstanding resource for medical students and residents training in the fields of pathology and infectious disease successfully brings together the main branches of microbiology — bacteriology, virology, mycology, and parasitology.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a user-friendly source of knowledge and to bridge the gap between texts that deal with microbiology in a traditional organism-based way and the more modern approaches that take microbial diseases as the starting point or attempt to view the subject from an immunological or epidemiological perspective. These are worthy objectives as medical students and residents need an integrated view of microbiology touching upon basic knowledge and practical scenarios encountered by a practicing physician. The book seamlessly accomplishes its goals with its easy reading style and its myriad colorful pictures, diagrams, tables, and charts.
Audience: Although apparently intended for medical students, this book is thorough enough to appeal to pathology and infectious disease residents who undergo extensive training in microbiology. The author has written other books, including pervious editions of this one and the popular Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2007).
Features: The book is straightforward, logically organized, and well referenced. Addition of web sites as sources in recommended reading shows the realization of the role of the Internet in the acquisition of knowledge by today's medical students and residents. The "key point" boxes highlight and summarize the chapters, impressing on readers the significant points without being lengthy and wordy. Ample photographs, diagrams, tables, and charts supplement the text. The electron microscopy pictures are especially helpful as they portray the details of the organisms that are involved in infectivity and pathogenesis. One of the most vital chapters is the one on immunization. With the advent of the HPV vaccine and the promise of more vaccines in the future, immunization is a concept that all medical students and physicians need to fully understand. Unfortunately, the chapter did not specifically discuss the HPV vaccine.
Assessment: This book, with its easy to read format, abundant visuals, and modest price, will be a favorite among medical students and residents.