Customer Reviews: Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple
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on October 20, 2011
I have a lot of trouble remembering drug names and different features of various pathogens. The illustrations in this book are incredibly cheesy, which is what makes it work. The mnemonics do not require a lot of extra studying. I have friends who don't like mnemonics because they say they'd rather just learn the material than have to learn a mnemonic instead. I find that these are helpful because they are dorky but easy to remember just based on the name. For example, azTREEonam only has one ring in its structure, not two, because it's like a tree fell through the other part of the house. This would let a lot of air in through the giant hole in the house, so it's active against aerobic bacteria. Also, because having a giant hole in your house is a bad thing, it's active against Gram negative bacteria.

I find that it is easy to read and I keep it by my bed to read through at night before I sleep. It's an excellent supplement to classroom material and it is a fast book to get through when you don't have a whole lot of time in second year.

For people like me who have a hard time memorizing things and would rather have everything "make sense," I think this book is invaluable. If you are very good at memorizing facts and tables, it may not be as useful to you.
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on July 23, 2011
At first glance I was not a fan of the cheesy cartoons included in the book, but after using it for USMLE Step 1 Micro review have found the combination of cartoons + very well written text to be a good combination and an excellent addition to the concise First Aid and the micro flash cards I'm using. My only knock against this book is that the index is far too brief and sometimes it is difficult to find the bug or drug you are looking for (just one example: no index entry for trimethoprim or sulfamethoxazole but there is a whole page on these drugs. Authors/editors, what are you thinking?). I took off a star as this is not a book you will read cover to cover, but to elaborate a certain section/disease/bug from First Aid, which requires a good index. Hunting for material (after not finding it indexed) is a pain when you have to do it more than a few times in a day.

There are errors in grammar, but the reviewer who gave the book two stars for poor grammar is being excessively harsh. The errors do not take away from the text's utility.

Me: prep'ing for Step 1, entering 3rd year med, micro was one of my LEAST favorite subjects during pre-clinical years.

7/25 -- Have to up this to Five stars after reading the antibiotics section. Very clearly presented. Index remains annoying, but it's still a great text.
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on August 31, 2011
This is one of my best investments thus far in medical school. I always thought microbiology was a subject of rote memorization, that it doesn't lend itself well to anecdotes and pictorials. But this book completely jumped that hurdle and did what I believe more books should do. The pictures, mnemonics, stories, etc. are corny, humorous, fun, and above all, helpful. Some of them seem ridiculously far-fetched, but surprisingly they stick with you. Yes, it doesn't tailor to everyone's learning style and you may not want to re-read through a 400pg book while studying for the USMLE, but before you go to the flashcards give this book a try; at its price it's well worth the investment. Thanks to the authors for this, and my only suggestion for future editions is MORE PICTURES!
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on December 14, 2012
I had stumbled across this book in the med school bookstore halfway through 2nd year and wish I would've known 1st year. As each year added another layer of understanding and application the concise and always pertinent information was, immensely aided by pictures and quips, retained and utilized more. USMLE Step 1 was too long ago to remember but 2 & 3's clinical micro and antibiotic sections seemed like an entry-level question from one of my Corpsman. I know this book was responsible for that.

During my surgery residency I frequently whipped this out for a quick refresh on infections and their treatments which saved a lot of pain and gained some good points on rounds. Don't be mad when you get to be the go-to-guy when the culture/sensitivity results are reported, just tell your peers to get the same book. I still do and especially recommend it to my midlevels.

I had a limited personal load-out for Afghanistan and made sure this was one of my references. It was critical for differential diagnosis in local nationals and helping make tx decisions with a limited, but frequently bizarre, formulary (all dependent upon what was making it to our forward base from states and the orders took months and were dropped in by helo), might not have Amoxicillin but did have 3 cases of Zyvox... Over there when you hear hoofbeats it might be a horse or zebra but was just as often a rhinoceros.

I am still flipping through it now on my Westpac tour and can't wait to see the wonders of jungle warfare and tropical medicine through the paradigm of Clinical Microbiology made ridiculously simple. From a--getting to be old--Navy Medical Officer thank you and keep those new editions coming!
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on August 6, 2012
Like so many others I found this book to be immensely useful in preparing for the USMLE. The language is clear and concise and the cartoons, while they might earn you a few strange looks from other patrons at the coffee shop, are goofy enough that their contents really do stick with you. The layout is excellent, allowing ample space for you to add your own annotations if you choose. I looked at a couple of other microbiology textbooks out there, including Mim's and found this the Ridiculously Simple book to be vastly superior in terms of content delivery and exam review utility. Recommended without any reservations!
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on April 14, 2013
Honestly the best way to learn microbiology. Even now as I prepare for boards, I still find myself using the memory tricks in this book. The comics are memorable and are a great way to get an overview of the topic. Synergistic with Lippincott Microcards, or make your own flashcards from the tables at the end of each chapter.
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on December 13, 2012
This book was my sole source for microbiology portion of USMLE step 1 and I was fully satisfied with it and scored well in micro on the Step 1 exam . The virology portion is equally excellent and the parasitology portion is better than Jawets examination and board review microbiology ( another good book of microbiology ) . It has been many years since my step 1 exam and honestly I didnt need this book but I liked it so much that I wanted to keep the current edition just for occasional reference or revising any new bug or virus or any new antibiotic . This book does not have immunology in it because that would have made it bigger and the author has kept it specific for bacteriology , virology , parasitology , All the antimicrobial drugs , including anti-fungal, antibacterial , antiviral , anti-helmenthic and antituberculous etc. I am confident that the antimicrobial drugs given in this book are explained in a very beautiful way which other pharmacology books e.g Lippincot , short katzung etc cannot compete with . The beauty of this book is that the author has used funny cartoons and diagrams which makes it easy to remember the difficult names and concepts and mechanisms very easy to remember . Once again the Antimicrobial drugs portion is simply excellent . Befor ebuying this book i had studied short Jawetz as well which was a good book but after reading this book I sticked to it and I didnt find any deficiency in it . In this new edition the summary tables after each chapter have been updated and their size made bigger for easy reading . In very old editions the text of the tables was small but in this edition the author has eliminated that problem . The print is clear and the paper quality is good . I have read this book many times and when I compare it with other microbiology books for USMLE purposes , then I think this is the best one . Many of my friends taking step 1 exam have rated this book as equal or better than Jawetz . I cannot give it less than five star .
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on May 28, 2013
This book completely lives up to its title. It is so simply written with lots of pictures and goofy cartoons that I couldn't believe that my medical school was using this as the sole microbiology text.
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on July 16, 2014
I remember things so well after seeing the crazy/weird drawings in this book. It really breaks things down in an easy to understand way, not giving too much extraneous information. I used this during my first year of medical school, and will keep it to use during study for the Step 1 exam. I would definitely recommend this to other medical students, and to any student taking a microbiology course.
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on July 7, 2012
I found this book really helpful while taking micro in med school. It has a bunch silly mnemonics that surprisingly help with memorization and has some nice tables that organize information in a way that facilitated learning. I didn't get this till a little after I started my micro course and really wished I had had it from the beginning because memorizing of a ton of information is the name of the game and this book helps with that. I used this in combination with microcards (which I also highly recommend) for the course and would occasionally refer to this (especially for treatments and the tables) while studying for step 1, but I know people who used it a lot during their step studying.

-Helps with memorization of details
-Good tables
-Helps with organization of topics (especially the first time)
-Great in combination with microcards

-Can be overly ridiculous/cheezy
-Some info already outdated

Overall if you're taking a micro course for the first time I highly recommend this as a resource.
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