Best Pathology Books

Pathology is probably one of the most daunting subjects to prepare for. It is also, the one subject whose knowledge you must retain even for clinical exams. A good foundation in basic medical pathology will serve you well during your career as well as help you ace exams in school. We review here, some of the most recommended, and popular pathology books and resources for medical students as well as allied health professionals.

Quick Review Pathology Books

The following pathology books are best suited for review and study during dedicated exam preparation periods. However, they may also be used during classes to supplement lecture notes.

Pathoma by Dr. Sattar

Pathoma by Dr. Sattar is widely considered as the must have book to prepare for USMLE step 1 pathology. It has almost everything you need to know, and when used along with his video lecture course, it provides an excellent basis for board preparation. Most student rely on pathoma plus anki decks and find that it is enough to score well on board exams.

Goljan’s Rapid Review Pathology

Goljan’s rapid review of pathology is another often recommended book for pathology review. If you look on the internet there a few audio lectures by doctor Goljan floating around, but even without them, this an excellent book for a more in depth look at key pathology knowledge you must know for board exams.

Foundational Pathology Books

The following books are must haves for you initial foray into pathology. They provide the necessary foundation for the beginner. We recommend these smaller tomes rather than the larger textbook versions by the same authors. Pathology is already a daunting subject and starting with a 1,000 to 2,000 page book can be a bit much for most. These books can easily be finished along with lectures and are often the textbooks required by most medical schools.

Robbins Basic Pathology

Robbins basic pathology is easy to read and provides excellent explanations that we have found easy to remember years later. When later paired with a quick review book like pathoma the explantions given by Dr. Sattar and the facts repeated in popular anki decks become easy to grasp and retain.

Principles of Rubin’s Pathology

Rubin’s principles of pathology is similar to Robbins basic pathology. It is an excellent foundation for pathology. Where as Robbin’s excels in written explanations, Rubin’s shines when it comes to figures and diagrams. Which ever you choose, be sure to stick with it. Switching resources often just wastes time and confuses beginner learners.

Reference Pathology Books

The following pathology books are best used as reference books. They are much too large to be completed along with lectures during a pathology course — that is unless you are one dedicated student! However, when you need an in depth understanding of a disease process, these are the books you should reference.

Robbin’s & Contran Pathologic Basis of Disease

Robbin’s and Contran Pathologic basis of disease has been the go to reference textbook and perhaps the study book for more advanced pathology students. It provides a very in depth understanding of diseases and may be a “worth it” read for some.

Rubin’s Pathology Mechanisms of Human Disease

Rubin’s pathology mechanisms of disease is the big brother of Rubin’s principles of pathology and is another excellent reference book.