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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jason Swink(University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This is an update of a pocket reference to the Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. The previous edition was published in 1999.
Purpose: Three goals are presented in the preface: to facilitate the reading and comprehension of the more detailed presentations in the parent book by providing introductory overviews along with relevant page numbers referenced to the main text; to help students identify the core material that requires their primary attention; to serve as a useful tool for the review of a large body of information. These are worthy objectives, and the book meets them.
Audience: This book was written for medical students and residents. It is not targeted at any particular specialty. The authors are unquestionably authorities in the education of pathology.
Features: This pocket companion has a title long enough to foreshadow the mass of information in this physically small book. The authors have taken on the challenge of condensing the entire subject of pathology and they have succeeded, striking a balance between the small size and complete information. At more than 700 pages, and with small print, this is not the cursory overview implied by the term "Pocket Companion." It does, however, provide a great deal of information in a well-organized format. It matches the main text, chapter for chapter, with 20 to 30 pages dedicated to each 40 to 50-page chapter in the big book. There are certain uses for which the book might not be ideal. It simply has too much information to be used as an introduction to pathology, or a board prep resource for medical students. With this density of information, there is no reason for a medical student to bypass the main text for this pocket companion. With that said, there is a valuable use for this book. It is a wonderful resource to be used in a clinical setting. The portability, as well as the 80-page index, make it easy to carry and easy to find information. It doesn't sacrifice information, just print size and page thickness. Each section on a particular disease is intuitively laid out, with a nice flow. Each section includes page numbers for the main text, which might be of limited value. A person using the pocket companion as a portable reference would have to write down this page number for later use, which probably will not be necessary, since the main text has a comprehensive index of its own. To summarize, this pocket companion is a huge book in a small dense package. It has more information than a typical pocket book, and in fact probably has more information than a fair number of pathology textbooks. It will be a useful tool for clinicians who want complete pathology information at their fingertips.
Assessment: This book can only be compared with the others of its own series. It is of the same quality, just a more compact format.