The 10 Best Pathology Textbooks of 2020

A review of ten pathology textbooks that may be helpful to medical students, residents, and professionals studying the field.

Whether you are a medical student preparing for an exam or a healthcare professional diagnosing disease, a comprehensive and well-structured pathology textbook can support your understanding of the field and ability to achieve your academic or career goals. Here we provide a list and overview of ten pathology textbooks covering topics from general pathology to those with a greater focus on sub-disciplines such as anatomical, clinical, or forensic pathology. Collectively, these textbooks may be helpful to a wide audience including practicing physicians, veterinarians, scientists, nurses, physical therapists, medical students, dental students, residents, fellows, or even undergraduates. Our team may earn a commission from qualifying purchases made through the below links at no additional cost to you.


Pathologic Basis of Disease by Robbins and Cotran, currently in its 10th edition, provides a comprehensive account of the cellular and molecular basis for human diseases. This readable textbook covers both basic science and clinical details and could be useful for medical students preparing for the USMLE, healthcare professionals studying for a specialty board exam, or students taking a pathology course. Pathologists, scientists, and other professionals may also find this textbook helpful for reviewing core concepts from the field.


Pathophysiology: The Biologic Basis for Disease in Adults and Children by Kathryn McCance and Sue Huether is a comprehensive textbook that details diseases and their etiology with numerous full-color illustrations and photographs. Healthcare professionals, scientists, and students may find this textbook useful for learning or reviewing the pathophysiology of human diseases.


Basic Pathology by Robbins covers the principles of human pathology with conciseness ideal for time-strapped students. Disease pathogenesis, pathophysiology, and clinical manifestations are strongly emphasized and accompanied by detailed illustrations, photographs, schematics, and radiologic images intended to support the learning process.


Diagnostic Pathology: Cytopathology by Body, Thrall, and Krishnamurthy is a useful reference aid for patient diagnoses. Clinical, radiologic, and cytopathological features of human diseases are reviewed with sufficient depth for practicing pathologists, fellows, or residents. The textbook includes updated coverage of immunohistochemical and molecular markers of disease.


Forensic Pathology: Principles and Practice by Dolinak, Matshes, and Lew provides a comprehensive account of topics important to the practicing forensic pathologist ranging from forensic autopsy, osteology, and odontology to death scene investigation and death certification. A variety of sample cases and relevant guidance are included. This textbook may be useful to practicing forensic pathologists, hospital pathologists performing autopsies, medical students and residents, crime scene investigators, and other students and professionals studying the field.


Comprehensive Radiographic Pathology by Ronald Eisenberg and Nancy Johnson details the clinical manifestations, radiographic appearance, and treatments of human diseases organized by body system and also includes discussion of general physiology and the latest information on radiographic imaging modalities such as CT and MRI. This textbook may be useful to both students and professionals studying radiographic pathology.


Histology for Pathologists, intended for use by anatomic pathologists and pathology residents, is a comprehensive textbook containing more than 1,000 histological images of human tissues that may serve as a useful learning resource and reference. Content is organized by body system and region and the 5th edition has updated discussion of surgical principles and techniques.


Fundamentals of Veterinary Clinical Pathology by Steven Stockham and Michael Scott provides an overview of diseases relevant to domestic mammals and the clinical laboratory techniques used to support diagnoses. This textbook may be helpful for veterinarians and veterinary students learning or reviewing veterinary clinical pathology.


Pathology: Implications for the Physical Therapist by Catherine Goodman and Kenda Fuller provides a detailed account of human pathology relevant to the physical therapist, including discussion of the precautions and contraindications of physical therapy interventions for patients with particular conditions and the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of key human diseases. This textbook may serve as a useful resource for practicing physical therapists or physical therapy students.


Sternberg’s Diagnostic and Surgical Pathology, edited by Stacy Mills, includes over 4,000 full-color illustrations of human tissues intended to support practicing pathologists and trainees developing diagnoses based on surgical specimens. Pathologists, fellows, and pathology residents may find this textbook useful.


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