Description: This 12th edition microbiology review book presents material relating to clinical practice. The first edition was published in 1976 and a new edition has been published every 2 to 3 years. Frequent updates are important since there is rapid change in the discovery of new infectious agents, the tests used to detect microorganisms, and the rate of antibiotic resistance in these pathogens.
Purpose: This should be used as a tool to review medical microbiology and immunology and evaluate that knowledge with practice questions. The authors recommend this review book for students preparing for the USMLE Step 1 as well as practicing physicians who need a quick review of this material. The questions can be used to reinforce knowledge and assist in examination preparation.
Audience: The book is primarily directed at medical students preparing for the USMLE Step 1.
Features: The book begins with a section entitled "High-yield Facts" that provides bulleted lists of information important to know from each subsection of microbiology. The remainder of the book is divided into seven sections that overview microbial physiology; virology; bacteriology; rickettsiea, chlamydiae and mycoplasmas; mycology; parasitology; and immunology. The sections include multiple choice questions in the format of the USMLE step 1 with four or five possible answers for each question. The answers and explanation for each are at the end of each section. The answers, brief and to the point, cover the pertinent reasons why the alternate answers are incorrect. Each answer also provides the reference and page numbers if further information is needed. This is helpful as a student reviews multiple subjects.
Assessment: This small portable review book is a good resource for medical students and residents. It is not overly large, bulky or expensive. The test format of the questions makes a good review. As an individual who teaches and practices medical microbiology, I found the material challenging and the questions well designed to make students think. The answers are also explanatory and enhance the learning/review function by explaining why certain answers were incorrect. Overall, this is a good review book and I would recommend it to students.