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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Valerie L. Ng, PhD MD(Alameda County Medical Center/Highland Hospital)
Description: The title says it all - this is a quick review of laboratory testing.
Purpose: The book is intended as a concise and comprehensive review of laboratory tests commonly used in clinical medicine to assist students, residents, or fellows preparing for various certification exams (USMLE, COMLEX, residency, or specialty board certification).
Audience: It is written for students (medical students, residents, fellows) wanting a quick and thorough review of laboratory tests useful for clinical diseases. It is also intended to be used by practitioners wanting a concise review of contemporary laboratory medicine practice in clinical medicine. It would also be of interest to allied health practitioners who are curious about why certain tests are ordered for certain conditions.
Features: This moderately sized paperback book is a great concise review of when and why to use which laboratory test for which clinical entity under consideration. Each of the 12 chapters is devoted to specific laboratory areas (e.g., endocrine, clinical chemistry, renal disorders, etc.). Of note, this arrangement is different than the organ-system approach often used in medical education. Each chapter presents the information in an outline format. Key facts ("pearls") are in a different color in the margins, so the really time-pressed reader can simply riffle through the pages to quickly skim these. The pictures and didactic schematics are great, and the photomicrographs superb. This book also comes with a link to a website containing additional educational material. I quickly scanned and enjoyed the images gallery. One minor point (easy to fix) are the online quizzes simulating a real board exam experience. Multiple quizzes are available, but the subject matter of each quiz is not displayed, so you have to open each quiz and assess the first few questions to figure out if it covers the subject area you've read.
Assessment: This is a nice review. It falls into the same category of laboratory medicine review books as Pathology Secrets, 2nd edition, by Damjanov et al. (Elsevier, 2005), and Clinical Laboratory Pearls, by Jones (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001), but is more basic and concise. It would be a great review for practicing MDs to get up to speed with contemporary laboratory testing practices.