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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Grant Derek Schafer, DO (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This book, a comprehensive look at pathologic organisms as well as the immune system, is an excellent resource for students as well as residents looking for a reference to aid them during their rotations. The previous edition was published in 2006.
Purpose: The purpose is to cover basic and clinically important aspects of microbiology and immunology. It is written to support those studying for national boards and those looking for an up-to-date introduction to microbiology and immunology. With this purpose in mind, the book certainly provides a concise overview of medically relevant microorganisms as well as a basic review of the immune system.
Audience: The review format is geared toward the medical student studying for board exams. The author does a good job of focusing on this audience and provides pertinent material that medical boards test. The author is a microbiology and immunology professor who holds both MD and PhD degrees.
Features: The book is divided into 13 parts, beginning with basic bacteriology. This section includes such topics as structure, pathogenesis and antimicrobial resistance. After a brief, concise review, clinical bacteriology is then covered in part two. The major bacterial pathogens are covered with subtopics that include the disease caused, transmission, pathogenesis, clinical findings, laboratory diagnosis, and treatment. This format is used to cover virology (parts III and IV). Mycology and parasitology are then covered, although not in as much depth, in parts V and VI. Immunology is covered in section VII. Remaining sections are dedicated to board review, complete with clinical cases and USMLE type questions. Microbiology pearls and a section of brief summaries of medically important microorganisms complete the book. Tricolor graphs and illustrations are logically placed and support the text. Although not always detailed, they are informative schematics that certainly enhance comprehension. New to this edition are 70 color plates, oddly placed in the center of the book, that aid in identification.
Assessment: There are many microbiology review books aimed at students getting ready for national board exams. This book surpasses many of those in terms of basics and, especially, clinical relevance. The quick reference section as well as the hundreds of USMLE-type questions makes this a very solid and complete study companion.