I’ll be honest: studying pathology can be overwhelming at times. Especially in the beginning.
In part 1 of this little series on starting your first path course, we talked about how Robbins is the best pathology textbook out there. And in part 2, we looked at a short list of good websites. But what if you’re totally stuck, and it’s only the second day, and you need something helpful to read right now without having to look up stuff?
Pathology Student to the rescue!
Most pathology courses have a similar progression: they start with some general pathology topics, and then move on to systemic pathology. That means that you’ll probably cover inflammation, cell injury, and repair first. You’ll also cover neoplasia fairly early on. So here are some posts that summarize these topics in plain English, with no confusing stuff.
- A quick review of cell injury goes through cell injury in some detail (but still in an understandable way). This is one of the first things you’ll cover, so you might want to read this now.
- What’s going on inside a cell when it gets injured? is an even quicker review of cell injury.
- How to differentiate acute vs. chronic inflammation in sections gives you easy ways to tell neutrophils (acute inflammation) apart from lymphocytes (chronic inflammation) in histologic slides.
- What causes cancer? covers the general underlying mechanisms leading to cancer that you’ll undoubtedly cover early on in your course.
- Melanoma, carcinoma, some kind of -noma gets you started on the language of pathology. It’s easy to tell what a tumor name means once you know a couple principles.
- Differentiation and anaplasia are a few more terms you’ll run across early on in your path lectures. These can be confusing, particularly if no one explicitly defines them for you.
If you feel more like doing a crossword puzzle, we’ve got you covered for that too!
Although you’re not studying for boards yet (thank goodness), some of the resources and advice pertinent to boards is also good advice for studying in general. I have a short series of posts on boards here, here and here; you might find something that’s useful now, before boards.
Finally: you might also want to sign up for Path Bites, which is a free daily email I send out containing some little pathology tidbit, sometimes with a photo, sometimes with just text. It’s kind of a nice way to review pathology and keep stuff fresh in your mind. You can also sign up to get our posts by email (also in the left hand column on this page).
If all else fails, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org)! I’m happy to help and love getting questions. Good luck!
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