Customer Reviews: Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, Seventh Edition
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on February 20, 2005
If your pathology lecture handouts look like this:

"toxoplasma - immunocompromised host - cardiac transplant"

and you are thinking, "What causes what? Can professors use verbs?"

then this may be the book for you.

I found myself in the situation of requiring more explanation, and R&C PBD fits the bill.


- Thorough (at over 1500 pages, it better be!).

- Readable - I noticed that people disagreed on this point. No, it is not "fun" to read, but I think it is as good as you can get. The text does not assume that you have mastered the previous chapters, it provides explanation throughout, making it possible to open it anywhere and still understand what is going on.

- Summary tables, nice photos, clear diagrams - could maybe use more of them.


- It's enormous! of course, that's a problem with the subject, not the book. I guess you have to ask yourself if you can set aside the time and concentration to get through it, if not, purchase BRS pathology. (Tip: if the weight of a 1500-pg. book bothers you, get the binding removed at a copy shop and carry the currently relevant pages)

- No study questions - I recommend its Review of Pathology companion with 1100+ questions for ample board review.

Good luck, you hardcore path master!
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on February 7, 2006
Much has been written about the quality of the text in this volume, and really, I agree with most of it. Robbins is a comprehensive textbook of human pathology, and is well written, though perhaps it could use a few more illustrations. Based on the text alone, I'd give it four or five stars.

The binding, however, is anemic, and worthy of one, or perhaps two stars. I have never seen a book's binding fail so regularly nor so spectacularly as I have with this book. After one year of use, my copy needed to be rebound. Several of my classmates have also had theirs rebound, or are about to. Several others have reinforced their copies with tape. One classmate had his book's binding fail entirely; he now has two or three pieces and carries whichever piece he is reading. This book bears a price tag of over $100, and I don't feel that I've gotten my money's worth. I may not have babied this book, but I haven't abused it, either.

That said, Robbins is *the* pathology text, and it is because it's a *good* pathology text. If you study at a computer, the online version of the text is very useable and easily searchable (easier to search through than the hard copy, actually,) and though of course you can't use a highlighter or take notes in the margins, you can take notes and bookmark sections.

Final analysis? Yes, buy this book. But have a plan in place for when the binding goes.
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on June 28, 2006
I got alot of [...] from my classmates for "wasting time" reading this book. Most people will tell you that it's too detailed and too long. But I feel that Robbins does a great job of weaving in high yield details from the basic sciences (Physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, anatomy, pathophysiology) into the material presented, so that you're not JUST studying pathology as you read through. I am a "network" learner, which means the more that I can connect what I'm reading with things I already know, the more easily I remember it. If you prefer learning this way, reading Big Robbins is a better use of your time than reading Basic Pathology or Fetal Robbins over and over again. To add some more weight to my words, I honored every class of second year EXCEPT for behavioral science, which, interestingly, gets no love from Robbins. I literally feel like half of what I learned second year I learned from reading Robbins, or at least is mentioned in Robbins if I learned it in another class. When I was studying for Step 1, Robbins served as an excellent reference for pretty much all the basic sciences as well as pathology. As much as I love this book, I unfortunately cannot boast that I read the whole thing through once. I'm gonna take a stab at it during 3rd and 4th year though...
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on December 10, 2004
This book is comprehensive. I bought it because my school issued me the "Robbin's Basic Pathology" and I wanted the extra detail. I wasn't disappointed. The explanations are quite clear, and the CD that comes with allows you access to the complete text of the book online, as well as some practice sample cases and lots of slides. It is a bit tough to get through, simply because it is long, but the rewards are considerable. I highly recommend this book.
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on May 24, 2007
This is hands down the best path book, because it has all the diseases in easy to read format with nice tables and pics to complement. However you've got to have time in med school to read it. Depending on your curriculum and how fast you read you may want to compare it to small robins, which has less details and no gross pics.If you have enough time, meaning that you can read a chapter once and also read your notes at the same time without falling behind, then go for it. But if you cannot, then you might need to settle for the "pocket companion to robins". Even if you were able to use this book through your course you will definitely not use it(except for its gross pics) for the step 1. FOr that you will be served better with pocket companion. It has the same features as big robins except less details. I used the pocket companion, pics in big robins and goljan audio for the path for the step 1 and i made a 229/95.
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on November 9, 2012
This book is a plethora of information for every disease one might encounter practicing medicine. Layout is a simple with a pragmatic approach but it is more of a reference than a sit-down read due to 1,500 pages. Purchased in fall of 2011, I've only just finished studying it 14 months later.
This treatise should be on your nightstand. Buy it. Read it. Use it.
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on August 19, 2013
There are few differences between 7th and 8th edition, so it was a good value for me overall. I am in a chiropractic program, and the book covers a variety of pathologies from cellular level to gross signs/symptoms.
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on February 22, 2007
The book is certainly a must have for any med student and/or related area people. It's the best you can get and certainly worth the money.

The problem I had was that the cover is laminated with some crappy plastic that goes all bubbly and the book just looks terrible after some extensive reading. This is certainly not a major issue (the looks does not afect the content after all), but e.g. Alberts "Mol Bio of the Cell" is certainly printed way better (better paper, better cover, etc). Something that the publisher should attend to in the 8th edition...
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on June 23, 2014
What can I's a must and a basic. I bought this one recently because it's way cheaper than the 8th edition and on top of that also basically the same besides i knew the 9th was coming out and it just did. Getting the 9th edition soon.
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on January 5, 2007
It's extremely detailed and they don't leave anything out. This is THE book for pathology. A great reference to have. But not a book you read from beginning to end. Vitually impossible. Unless you absolutely have no life. And when I say no life...I mean something's wrong with you.

It's extensive and the material is difficult, but surprisely the authors make this book easy and fun to read because it's so interesting. Well organized and essential for health professionals.
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