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Last updated: July 20, 2019

Anatomic PathologyEdit

Essential Intern Handbooks:Edit

  • Pfeifer, Humphrey, Ritter, & Dehner, The Washington Manual of Surgical Pathology, 3rd ed., 2019.
    • This book is practical, an invaluable as a next-to-microscope tool.
    • Wonderful on-line image bank included.
    • Very useful as a summary of diagnostic criteria, grading and staging.
  • Rekhtman, Baine, & Bishop, Quick Reference Handbook for Surgical Pathologists, 2nd ed., 2019.
    • The focus is not organ-based histologic criteria, but rather everything else that goes into pathologic diagnoses.
    • Emphasis on IHC, special stains, grading systems, molecular markers, tumor syndromes, and helpful clinical references.
    • Unique format, presented primarily in tables and diagrams accompanied by brief and to-the-point explanatory text.
  • Weedman-Molavi, The Practice of Surgical Pathology: A Begginer's Guide to the Diagnostic Process, 2nd ed., 2018.
    • Bridges the gap between medical school and residency.
    • Provides a strong scaffold on which to build a knowledge base. A great first read before your rotations.

Grossing Manuals:Edit

Large, General, Surgical Pathology Texts:Edit

  • Fletcher, Diagnostic Histopathology of Tumors, 4th ed., 2013.
    • Two-volume set covering all major entities, lesser-known tumors are also adequately addressed.
    • Comes with CD's with all images.
    • Book has extensive neoplastic info, non-neoplastic info is lacking, cannot replace Rosai/Sternberg.
  • Kumar, Abbas, & Aster, Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, 9th ed., 2014.
    • Often considered a medical student text, but valuable to pathology residents.Knowing Robbins probably a prerequisite to passing the boards--ironically, especially the earlier chapters on general pathology that most people skip.
    • The diagnostic tools in this book, although improved from the previous edition, are clearly not sufficient for the practical portion of the exam.
    • There is very little difference between the "Student" edition and the "Professional" edition.
  • Lefkowitch, Anatomic Pathology Board Review, 2nd ed., 2014.
    • Multiple-choice questions and full-color illustrations, great for certification exams.
  • Mills, Sternberg's Diagnostic Surgical Pathology, 6th ed., 2015.
    • Two-volume set, considered more learner-oriented.
    • Purchase includes full web access to text and images.
  • Rosai, Rosai and Ackerman and Rosai's Surgical Pathology, 10th ed., 2011.
    • Two-volume set covering all areas of surgical pathology in a conversational lecture-style format.
    • One idea: go through both volumes and look at the pictures before attempting to read the text, especially if in PGY-1.

Small, Surgical Pathology Manuals:Edit

  • Dabbs, Diagnostic Immunohistochemistry: Theranostic and Genomic Applications , 5th ed., 2010.
    • #1 guide for appropriate use & interpretation of IHC stains, organized by organ system.
    • Overkill for inter year, best for later in your training reference.
    • Knowledge in this area progresses rapidly, so this text may have a shorter useful half-life than other general pathology texts, best used in combination with Medline/Pubmed and ImmunoQuery.
  • Gattuso, Reddy, David, Spitz, & Haber, Differential Diagnosis in Surgical Pathology, 3rd ed., 2010.
    • Explicitly addresses differential diagnoses -- usually one of the main questions when looking at slides, an invaluable as a next-to-microscope, tool.
    • Depth into specific entities is lacking, photographs are sparse.
  • Klatt, Robbins and Cotran Atlas of Pathology, 3rd ed., 2014.
    • The strength of this book is found in the abundance of gross photographs, this is a great board review text.
    • Easy to read, especially for PGY-1.
  • Lester, Manual of Surgical Pathology, 3rd ed., 2010.
    • Complete, practical guidance on the evaluation of the surgical pathology specimen, from its arrival in the department to preparation of the final report. 
    • Useful tables on special stains and on IHC.
  • Pfeifer, Humphrey, Ritter, & Dehner, The Washington Manual of Surgical Pathology, 3rd ed., 2019.
    • This book is practical, an invaluable as a next-to-microscope, tool.
    • Wonderful on-line image bank included.
    • Very useful as a summary of diagnostic criteria, grading and staging.
  • Rekhtman, Baine, & Bishop, Quick Reference Handbook for Surgical Pathologists, 2nd ed., 2019.
    • The focus is not organ-based histologic criteria, but rather everything else that goes into pathologic diagnoses.
    • Emphasis on IHC, special stains, grading systems, molecular markers, tumor syndromes, and helpful clinical references.
    • Unique format, presented primarily in tables and diagrams accompanied by brief and to-the-point explanatory text.


  • Kierszenbaum & Tres, Histology and Cell Biology: An Introduction to Pathology, 4th ed., 2015.
    • Pitched as a medical school text, actually for pathology residents who need a serious histology reference, equal parts histology and cellular physiology.
  • Mills, Histology for Pathologists, 4th ed., 2012.
    • A one-of-a-kind text discussing fine points of histology, ultrastructure, cell biology and cytochemistry for each organ system.
    • Often stated to be indispensable for pathologists, some find it to be especially useful on a day-to-day basis.
    • Dense for PGY-1, I recommend first reading corresponding chapter in Pawlina's (immediately below) then the Mill's chapter.
  • Pawlina, Histology: A Text and Atlas, 8th ed., 2018.
    • A well written text, full of images and slides. A good summary of tissue ultrastructure.
    • A great pairing to Molavi's Practice of Surgical Pathology.

Sub-specialty Specific References:Edit

Bone & Soft Tissue:Edit

  • Bullough, Orthopaedic Pathology, 5th ed., 2009.
    • Standard text in bone pathology (neoplastic and non-neoplastic) with lots of great pictures.
    • Large format is fun, but may not fit on your shelf (physically).
  • Deyrup & Siegal, Practical Orthopedic Pathology, 1st ed., 2015.
    • I still find bone pathology challenging, usually much more challenging than soft tissue pathology for a variety of reasons. The biopsies are often very small and fragmented, many of the tumors look alike, correlation with radiographs is essential, and there are so many non-neoplastic processes that are relatively subtle histologically. Even as a bone and soft tissue pathologist, I still find myself pulling out my textbooks several times per week when working up bone biopsies in my practice. Thus I need practical bone pathology textbooks with lots of high quality figures, a pattern based approach to diagnosis, and pragmatic advice on how to sort out difficult differential diagnoses. Practical Orthopedic Pathology is just such a book. Co-authors Andrea Deyrup (a former Sharon Weiss trainee like myself) and Gene Siegal (a distinguished bone pathologist at University of Alabama Birmingham) have created a fantastic comprehensive guide to the world of bone pathology. This book provides solid in depth coverage of the basics of normal bone anatomy, physiology, and radiology. I learned a plethora of fascinating factoids about how bone forms and why it looks as it does microscopically just from reading a few pages of the Normal Bone Anatomy chapter. I was also impressed by the very useful tips on proper histologic techniques for processing and cutting bone biopsy specimens. Radiology basics are also thoroughly reviewed in a practical manner accessible to the general pathologist. Discussion of imaging is tied back to the underlying pathology and there are tips for avoiding pitfalls. The heart of the book is a comprehensive text that covers the breadth of bone pathology. Rather than dividing the main text of the book into chapters based on specific entity names (e.g. – osteosarcoma, giant cell tumor, fibrous dysplasia), this book is organized into sections based on the major histologic pattern coupled with the radiographic pattern. Examples include: “Lesions characterized by osteoid deposition and non-aggressive radiology”, “Lesions characterized by cartilage deposition and aggressive radiology”, “Lesions characterized by large numbers of giant cells replacing trabecular bone”, etc. Specific entities are then discussed within those pattern-based sections. Useful tables discussing each of these patterns, the entities included in each pattern group, and pertinent histologic and radiographic mimics, are laid out at the very beginning of the book. It is a brilliant, practical approach to organizing a bone pathology textbook. One may not know the name of the entity just by looking at the slide, but if there are numerous giant cells replacing the trabecular bone, then it is clear which chapter is appropriate. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the entire book is richly illustrated with beautiful high-quality color images of gross and microscopic pathology, as well as numerous black and white radiographic images. Online access to the entire textbook and all images via is provided for free with purchase of the book.
    • Textbook Review: AT Deyrup & GP Siegal. Practical Orthopedic Pathology. 344 pp. Elsevier. 2015 ($289 on Reviewed by Jerad Gardner, MD, on 11 May 2015.
    • Practical Orthopedic Pathology is an outstanding addition to the Pattern Recognition series of pathology textbooks.
  • Goldblum, Foplpe, & Weiss, Enzinger and Weiss's Soft Tissue Tumors, 6th Ed, 2013.
    • The comprehensive and exhaustive reference for soft tissue tumors, loaded with excellent photos.
    • In depth discussion of molecular and immunohistochemical features of sarcomas and other soft tissue neoplasms.


  • Koerner, Diagnostic Problems in Breast Pathology, 2008.
    • Organized into sections on epithelial proliferations, papillary proliferations, sclerosing lesions, and fibroepithelial lesions.
    • Other breast texts may assume you are already an expert in breast pathology (for example, they mention "streaming" in ADH, but do not explain what this means) while this book is more approachable.
  • Schnitt & Collins, Biopsy Interpretation of the Breast (Biopsy Interpretation Series), 3rd ed., 2017.
    • Well-organized and digestible, yet comprehensive with many photographs.
    • Includes some information on molecular sub-typing of breast cancer and other lesions.
    • An invaluable as a next-to-microscope, tool.


  • Calonje, McKee's Pathology of the Skin, 5th ed., 2019.
    • Two-volume set, comprehensive text.
    • Excellent micro & clinical photos. The best book for great pictures.
    • Very expensive but worth it if you are going into dermpath.
  • Elston & Ferringer, Dermatopathology, 3rd ed., 2018.
    • Useful for beginners with great pictures (constitute ~80% of the text) & lots of mnemonics.
    • Dermatology residents use this as their go-to dermpath book.
  • Rapini, Practical Dermatopathology, 2nd ed., 2012.
    • Fantastic primer. Covers majority of common and uncommon lesions that you will see in routine sign-out. Great for forming differential diagnoses.
    • Useful because it explains things in a way that even experts might beneficial when they want to teach residents.
    • Many high quality pictures, arrows and labels explaining what you are looking at.
    • Great index of differential diagnoses listed in the front of the book based on morphological findings (e.g. - Brown Deposits: Dematiacious Fungi, Formalin Pigment, Melanin, Hemosiderin, etc, etc).
  • Weedon, Weedon's Skin Pathology, 3rd ed., 2009.
    • Two-volume comprehensive reference but paucity of pictures leaves much to be desired.
    • Nicely written and easy to understand and read but without much clinical dermatology.




  • Nucci & Oliva, Gynecologic Pathology: A Volume in Foundations in Diagnostic Pathology Series, 1st ed., 2009.
    • Very useful series in general, this one is among the best in the series
    • Large and well annotated images
    • Clinical and Pathological features summarized in handy text boxes
    • No online access in this edition, newer editions on other topics in this series do have this feature and it will probably be added in future


Pulmonary: Edit

  • Katzenstein, Katzenstein and Askin's Surgical Pathology of Non-Neoplastic Lung Disease: Volume 13 in the Major Problems in Pathology Series, 4th ed., 2006.
    • The most practical non-neoplastic lung pathology textbook available with brief but to-the-point discussion of clinical and radiologic issues, geared towards practical and rapid diagnosis, not a history of various lesions OR an encyclopedic tome
    • Excellent illustrations in full color; probably the best pics of any text
    • Concise tables with lists of causes that are very useful in daily practice
  • Leslie & Wick, Practical Pulmonary Pathology, 3rd ed., 2017.
    • Great primer with many pictures.
    • Pattern-based approach basis for a whole series of Elsevier's "Practical X Pathology" texts


  • Cibas, Cytology: Diagnostic Principles and Clinical Correlates, 4th ed., 2014.
    • A quick and practical guide to cytology at the resident level.
    • Greater depth than "Baby DeMay".
    • Includes a great chapter on the amorphous topic of laboratory administration (high yield RISE/board questions).
  • DeMay, The Art and Science of Cytopathology, 2nd ed., 2011.
    • Four-volume set, beautifully produced work of art, is a gold standard in cytology.
    • Innovative presentation makes this a memorable read.
    • Due to large size, may be unwieldy for some learners.

Autopsy & Forensics:Edit

  • Dolinak Matshes, & Lew. Forensic Pathology, Principles and Practice, 1st ed., 2005.
    • Excellent general forensic pathology text covering all of the major topics, with good color photos.
    • Some "case based" with brief example cases highlighting most of the points.
    • Useful for the general pathologist who occasionally is involved in forensic cases, forensic pathology fellows, and forensic pathologists.

Clinical PathologyEdit

General Clinical Pathology Edit

  • Dauterman, How to be a Lab Director, 2019.
    • How to be the Lab Director of a general hospital lab includes tutorials on
    • How to make a corrective action
    • How to make a Plan of Correction (PoC)
    • How to respond to CMS form 2567
    • How to put a new analyzer into service
    • How to do quality assurance and root cause analysis
    • How to write a policy and/or procedure
    • How to respond to complaints and incident reports involving lab.

Sub-specialty Specific References: Edit


  • Ioachim & Medeiros, Ioachim's Lymph Node Pathology, 5th ed., 2019.
    • Very useful tables and charts (CD markers, B and T cell stages of development, etc).
  • Jaffe, Hematopathology, 2nd ed., 2016.
    • Well organized and easy to find info when trying to answer a specific question.
    • Includes plenty (sometimes overwhelming) of etiological and pathogenetic information.
    • Copious photomicrographs with extensive captions.
    • Can be intimidating to read such a voluminous work.


Molecular Pathology:Edit

  • Coleman and Tsongalis, Molecular Pathology: The Molecular Basis of Human Disease, 2nd ed., 2017.
    • Easier to read and more disease focused (rather than method focused) over Molecular Diagnostics: For the Clinical Laboratorian.
    • Prettier book with more figures and images (in color) & less intense detail than Molecular Diagnostics: For the Clinical Laboratorian.

Transfusion Medicine:Edit

  • Petrides, Practical Guide to Transfusion Medicine, 2nd ed., 2007.
    • Provides the basics, but in a comprehensive manner
    • Well-written, understandable, reads quickly
    • Important details are included in a bulleted format in the margins
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