As we launch the 8th edition of Pathologic Basis of Disease we pause to look back 50 years ago, when the fi rst edition of this book, entitled “Pathology with Clinical Correlations” was published. (For those who may not know, the fi rst three editions were published under this name and so the current “8th edition” is really the 11th edition of this book.) In the preface of the fi rst edition, Stanley Robbins wrote
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“But the study of morphology is only one facet of pathology. Pathology contributes much to clinical medicine. The pathologist is interested not only in the recognition of structural alterations, but also in their signifi cance, i.e., the effects of these changes on cellular and tissue function and ultimately the effect of these changes on the patient. It is not a discipline isolated from the living patient, but rather a basic approach to a better understanding of disease and therefore a foundation of sound clinical medicine.”
“The why’s and how’s are as important as the what’s.”
In today’s vocabulary, what Robbins said in 1957 was that pathology is the study of the mechanism of diseases and morphology is a tool (the only one available at that time) to gain insight into pathogenesis and clinical correlations. Over the past 50 years, this focus has not changed and it remains the guiding principle for the current edition. The main difference is that now we have many more tools to supplement morphology, including molecular biology, genetics, and informatics, to name a few. Indeed, it might be said that this book presents the molecular basis of human disease with clinical correlations. This edition, like all previous ones, has been extensively revised, and some areas have been completely rewritten. A few examples of signifi cant changes are as follows:
We have been repeatedly told by readers that up-todatedness is a special feature that makes this book very valuable. We have strived to remain current by providing new information and references from recent literature, many published in 2008 and some from the early part of 2009. However, older classics have also been retained to provide original source material for advanced readers.
We are now into the digital age and so the text will be available online to those who own the print version. Such access gives the reader the ability to search across the entire text, bookmark passages, add personal notes, and use PubMed to view references, and has many other exciting features. In addition, also available online are case studies, previously available separately as the Interactive Case Study Companion developed by one of us (VK) in collaboration with Herb Hagler, PhD, and Nancy Schneider, MD, PhD, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. The cases are designed to enhance and reinforce learning by challenging students to apply their knowledge to solve clinical cases. A virtual microscope feature enables the viewing of selected images at various magnifi cations.
This edition is also marked by the addition of a new coauthor, Jon Aster. All four of us have reviewed, critiqued, and edited each chapter to ensure the uniformity of style and fl ow that have been the hallmarks of the book. Together, we hope that we have succeeded in equipping the readers with the scientifi c basis for the practice of medicine and in whetting their appetite for learning beyond what can be offered in any textbook.
Medicine Book Free: Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease: With STUDENT CONSULT Online Access – 8th Edition