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D J Cook. (£19.99.) Butterworth Heinemann, 1998. ISBN 0 750 63111 2.
What a gem of a book! This forms one of a series of publications called “Biomedical sciences explained” and explain is exactly is what the author does here. All of the major fields and techniques of routine histopathology are here, ranging from the rationale behind tinctorial staining, to histochemistry, exfoliative cytology, immunocytochemistry, light microscopy itself, electron microscopy, and molecular pathology. In addition, there is a useful section on laboratory organisation.
What also makes this volume so attractive is the inclusion of boxes on many pages that contain “not many people know that” facts and information; these mean also that the book can be dipped into at leisure. In addition, there is a succinct summary with key concepts at the end of each chapter. Furthermore, for the BMS student preparing for examinations, there is a self assessment section. This leads us to the question of the potential readership of this work. Certainly, all BMS students should read and digest the entire contents. However, so also should anyone working in a histopathology laboratory, whether the experienced BMS, the trainee histopathologist, or the consultant. In terms of learning, I think that reviewing this volume must have earned me about 500 CPD points!
Dr Cook is to be congratulated on the production of Cellular Pathology, not least because such a book would usually be a multiauthor venture.