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When the Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease book emerged from its early editions and became increasingly larger, there was a call to make a shorter version of the textbook. What resulted was an additional book affectionately known as “Mini-Robbins” by many. It was well received by students, one of whom was me. This experiment has in retrospect indicated to me that books derived from a larger, more comprehensive book may be worth producing. Laposata’s Laboratory Medicine has several obviously useful derivative products. McGraw Hill first produced a series of flashcards about the selection and interpretation of clinical laboratory tests. This current book focused on testing methods in the clinical laboratory is another product, with special value for medical students and practitioners of clinical laboratory science (a.k.a., medical technology). As we have learned in 2020, the choice of the method to detect SARS-CoV2 has a major impact on whether the result is a true-negative or a false-negative. This important methodologic information about each individual test was not well understood by healthcare providers at large, and had it been, it is likely to have benefited the millions who became sick and the hundreds of thousands who have perished.

This book on laboratory methods provides an overview of laboratory testing, followed by descriptions and easy-to-understand graphics for more than 60 commonly used methods. The 3rd edition of Laposata’s Laboratory Medicine does not include the depth and breadth of chromosomal and molecular genetic methods that are carefully described in this book.

If you are searching for a publication to teach you about the clinical laboratory assays that you will need to understand to make important clinical decisions, or maybe even perform yourself, we hope that this is the text that will help you best learn about the tests.

Michael Laposata
Peter McCaffrey
Galveston, Texas, 2021

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