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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

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Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews, Microbiology, 3rd Edition

Athul Menon  /  at  5:00 PM  /  No comments

A MUST READ for mastering essential concepts in microbiology
Well-known and widely used for their hallmark illustrations, Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews bring concepts to vibrant life. Students rely on LIR for quick review, easier assimilation, and understanding of large amounts of critical, complex material.
• Outline format and full-color illustrations: More than 400 color illustrations and color-coded summaries provide key information at a glance and helpful visual explanations
• Illustrated case studies and questions to support USMLE prep: Expanded discussions reinforce key concepts and review questions with detailed rationales allow for self-assessment
• New bookmark features mini-index of important microorganisms for quick and easy reference
“Microbiology can be an overwhelming topic, but the pictures, concise descriptions, and parallel structure of each chapter helps to make the subject easier to understand and digest.” – Amelia Keaton, medical student
“I think this book better meets the needs of the market because of its review chapters and disease summaries, its review questions, and its excellent photographs of clinical manifestations of microbial disease. I also found this book easier to read and study from.” – Devorah Segal, medical student
FREE online! (with purchase of the text)
• Interactive question bank for test-taking practice
• Fully searchable eBook for studying on-the-go

Customer Reviews
By Mohamed F. El-Hewie
After progressing in reading, the reader will get used to the generosity of the authors in their constant, yet might be odd, attempts to illustrate the subject matter, specially, the extended review summaries at the end of the book. The book strength lies in standardizing the review methods of classification of microorganism, of drug stacks used in treatment, and of microscopic and culture morphology.

Despite the reasonable flow of thoughts in the paragraphs of each subject, the book lacks highlighting of names of diseases, organisms, and methods that are left hidden in the maze of words. Thus, the student reader has to struggle with underlining and highlighting the dense text. For example, a long paragraph on selective, bacterial culture media contains five media names typed as plain text. That would require thorough re-reading, while reviewing, in order to memorize the five media. Thus, the authors abandoned the very premise of the book, which is “to review”, and left the reader with the burden of searching while reviewing.

The book lacks of adequate footnotes or paragraph notes in visible locations. As such, the book paragraphs are plain, dense, and burdensome. Though there are plenty of boxed highlighted concepts, and even funny cartoons, it appears that the authors dismissed the busy and somber mood of busy lifestyle of students and rather tended to the relaxed style of casual readers.

Although most of the graphic illustrations are useful and neat, there is a sense of naivety in making trivial illustrations that serve no higher cause than the obvious. For example, on modes of virus transmission, a figure shows placental, birth canal, and postpartum images of contact between the agent and fetus/baby. Nothing is gained from such simplistic graphing of the plain and obvious course of action. In displaying the microscopic slides and culture photos, the book wasted more space on the entitling of the medical illustrations than on making the slides and cultures large enough to be legible.

The book ventures into an odd and redundant way of describing bacterial classification using colored pie chart. The frequently repeated colored pie serves very little purpose compared to the space it occupied. Neither the portions of the pie correspond to any numeric value of the bacterial classes they represent, nor do the colors of the pie wedges serve any purpose other than decorating the book page. The same odd style of representation applies to the use of one-column tables that use multiple rows to compare two different types of organisms.





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