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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ivan Damjanov, MD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This is the 7th edition of the shorter version of the leading U.S. textbook of pathology for medical students. The book has been extensively updated and numerous new color illustrations have been added.
Purpose: This book was conceived by Dr. Robbins as an abbreviated version of his full-length textbook of pathology. The aim was to give sophomore students a book of reasonable length so that they could read it during a very busy second year of their medical school studies. Over the last 15 years the book has acquired a distinct profile of its own and is probably read by more students than the original book from which it was spawned. This new edition is a valuable contribution to medical literature. It is destined to see many more editions.
Audience: The book was written for sophomore medical students, but is also used by residents in pathology and many other clinical disciplines. It is a commonly recommended book for allied health professions and is used in some PhD programs. The authors, one of whom (Ramzi Cotran) died in 2000, are the leading authorities in the field and well respected educators.
Features: The book covers general and systemic pathology in a format that is typically used in the sophomore curricula of most U.S. medical schools. It is divided into 23 chapters. Nine chapters cover general pathology (about 300 pages), whereas organ pathology is covered in the remaining 550 pages. The material is presented in a systematic manner, complemented with well chosen drawings ("schematics"), flow charts, diagrams, color figures of gross and microscopic pathology, and tables. The drawings are the most attractive part of the book. Color figures of the pathologic lesions are generally good, but unfortunately, there are still some photographs that are technically not the best. Furthermore, some photographs are not easily interpretable by a novice student. These technically or didactically substandard photographs deserve to be replaced in the next edition.
Assessment: This is an excellent update of an excellent book. The authors, assisted by an ever increasing number of contributors, have done a first class job in updating and improving the previous edition. It has been firmly positioned as one of the keystones of the "Robbins family," comprising two full-length textbooks, a short pocket companion, a book of questions, and two CDs. The book will remain a favorite of medical students in the U.S. and abroad.