From The CriticsReviewer: Valerie L. Ng, PhD MD(Alameda County Medical Center/Highland Hospital)
Description: This is the eighth edition of this comprehensive textbook of hematology. The previous edition was published in 2005.
Purpose: This edition continues the tradition of providing a comprehensive, updated textbook of hematology. This very worthy objective is spectacularly met by this edition.
Audience: As a textbook of hematology, this has a broad-based audience — medical students, residents, fellows, and practitioners (including our allied health partners) in virtually every aspect of medicine. The authors and editors are internationally recognized — in fact, luminaries — in their fields.
Features: There is a reason Williams has been the go-to textbook of hematology for generations. It is comprehensive, it has the answer to any question regarding hematology, it has the depth of detail to explain and justify the answers, and it contains a wealth of basic science and translational pathophysiology for optimal, lifelong learning. The continued exponential growth of research into the molecular mechanisms responsible for hematological disorders and the impact on diagnosis and treatment is extraordinarily well captured in this edition. There are 141 chapters in 2400 pages (yes, it is heavy). To impart a sense of the comprehensiveness of this book, the first chapter discusses the physical exam (very basic), whereas the single chapter on thrombocytosis in the previous edition has now been split into two chapters: reactive versus myeloproliferative (esoteric). New to this edition are chapters on epigenetics and genomics, and regenerative medicine. Not only does this edition contain all you could ever want to know about hematology, it has new features to take advantage of contemporary technology (iPhone/mobile apps) and connectedness (online version has hyperlinks to cited references, drug databases, Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 12th edition, Brunton et al. (McGraw-Hill, 2011), Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th edition, Longo et al. (McGraw-Hill, 2011)). This edition also comes with a CD-ROM containing images (photomicrographs, illustrations, drawings) ready to snap into PowerPoint presentations. Very, very, very minor criticisms: some of the photomicrographs do not have color faithful reproduction (e.g., blue or yellow backgrounds), and the book is heavy. This latter issue can be completely obviated by using the online version, likely on your smartphone or tablet.
Assessment: Williams continues to sustain its unparalleled reputation as THE textbook of hematology. I've run out of superlatives. Get it.