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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Valerie L. Ng, PhD MD(Alameda County Medical Center/Highland Hospital)
Description: This relatively small paperback book (7 x 9 x 1 inches) contains a wealth of clinical hematology.
Purpose: The book is intended to introduce medical students to the principles and physiology of blood cells, hemostasis, and pathophysiology of blood disorders. These worthy objectives are spectacularly met by the authors.
Audience: The book was modeled on a three-week course given to second-year Harvard medical students, and thus was originally intended for medical students. Physicians at any level of training or practice (except hematology or hematology/oncology specialists who would find this too elementary) would find the book very useful for practical learning or review. Allied health students or practitioners would find it useful as a concise review of hematology. The authors are internationally recognized for their expertise in clinical hematology.
Features: Wow — what can I say? This is a superb book. Deceptively small, yet packs a wallop. The emphasis on principles instead of practice is welcome. Practitioners in the field would do well to use this book as a refresher course for substantive updates since their medical school days. This particular field of medicine tends to superb color displays, well represented in this book. The color figures are simple in design yet rich in content. The photomicrographs, albeit some with imperfect color compensation, are exemplary of the disorders under discussion. The text is clear, concise, and surprisingly approachable for what could have been a very dense and dry discussion. I could not put this book down and read it entirely in one sitting. When was the last time anyone found a hematology textbook so riveting? I was especially grateful to see the emphasis on "benign" hematology — disorders encountered in everyday patient care now being treated by general internists or family practitioners and thus worthy of this attention. The only unusual aspect: the printed text on the title page, preface, table of contents, and index is right up to the edge of the page. The razor-thin margin on these pages does not detract from the intellectual content; it is just jarring to the eye given the beauty evidenced in the rest of the book.
Assessment: Get it if you need a review or want a good read/learning experience in basic clinical hematology. It is a nice companion to Beck's Diagnostic Hematology (Springer, 2009) and Armitage's Atlas of Clinical Hematology, 2nd edition (Springer, 2008).