Teach Yourself Infectious Diseases!

By | 27 November, 2012

“a well-developed knowledge of clinical microbiology is critical for the practicing physician in any medical field. Bacteria, viruses, and protozoans have no respect for the distinction between ophthalmology, pediatrics, trauma surgery, or geriatric medicine. Microbiology is one of the few courses where much of the ‘minutia’ is regularly used by the practicing physician.”

“Anyone who uses the terms ‘strong’, ‘powerful’ or ‘big gun’ in reference to antibiotics knows nothing about the treatment of infectious diseases. Zero.”
Mark Crislip MD
Infectious diseases is a field that is more broad than deep. So unlike my curricula for radiology, neurology and electrocardiography, the list below does not follow any particular sequence in terms of level of difficulty or complexity. Rather, the resources are listed with the more clinically-relevant ones higher up on the list.

Clinical resources

  1. Your home institution’s antibiogram, which is, by far, more important than any textbook or guideline when it come to choosing antibiotics in clinical practice
  2. Your home country’s immunization schedules. (For the United States, see the Center for Disease Control’s Recommended Immunization Schedules For Children, Teens, and Adults)
  3. Minor Emergencies: Expert Consult (2012). Has lots of good tips and tricks (aka “pearls”) about managing common outpatient infections
  4. Differential Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases by David Schlossberg MD (1996, one of the best medical books of all time, reviewed here)
  5. EMRA 2013 Antibiotic Guide, 15th edition by Brian J. Levine MD (reviewed here); Great for choosing the correct antibiotics in real life and during licensing examinations
  6. Atlas of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology by Wallace Peters MD (2007, reviewed here)
  7. CDC Health Information for International Travel 2012 (aka “The Yellow Book“). In print, or free online here.

Basic Science Resources

  1. Case Studies in Infectious Disease (2009). This book will help you become very familiar with the 40 most burdensome pathogens in the world.
  2. Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases: An Illustrated Colour Text (2007) by Mark Gladwin MD. Outstanding summary of various and common and uncommon infectious diseases.
  3. Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple (2011). A solid basic science microbiology book. Contains lots of silly mnemonics, which some learners might find helpful.
  4. Antibiotic Basics for Clinicians: The ABCs of Choosing the Right Antibacterial Agent by Alan R Hauser, MD, PhD (2012, reviewed here) is an overview of the biology and philosophy of choosing antibiotics.
  5. An Atlas of the Clinical Microbiology of Infectious Diseases, Volumes 1 & 2 by Edward J. Bottone is an extremely comprehensive and interesting laboratory approach to infectious diseases.

4 thoughts on “Teach Yourself Infectious Diseases!

  1. Sonya D

    I think reference to the role our normal flora play in our lives would round out this topic. After all, our microbes are not just responsible for causing disease, but are vital for our biologic processes. Our understanding of this is incomplete, but it is becoming apparent that the human microbiome is as important to us as any of our organ system. Here’s a brief online reference:
    http://www.textbookofbacteriology.net/normalflora_3.html

    Reply
  2. Pingback: 2013 EMRA Antibiotic Guide - The Medical Media Review

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