Book Title: Dermatology for the USMLE
Author: Alvaro J. Ramos
Publication Information: New York, High Yield Press, 2016, 157 pp., $39.99, paperback
Dermatology for the USMLE by Dr Alvaro Ramos is a comprehensive review book that can easily be used to study for the Step 1, 2, and 3 exams. The first chapter goes over the basics of dermatology; topics such as the layers of the epidermis, types of glands, dermal junctions, and all those dermatological terms (macule, papule, etc). The next 18 chapters are broken up by type of skin disorder: autoimmune skin disorders, blistering skin disorders, and melanocytic skin disorders, just to name a few. The book is filled with clear and colorful photos. Each page, on average, has about three color photos or illustrations. The book is arranged in an easy to read format. Complete with topic headings, bullet points, and bolded key words. This review book is also scattered with charts and tables that make comparing certain pathologies easier.
As someone who is currently preparing for the USMLE Step 3 exam, I found this book helpful as a supplement to my dermatology review. Where this book falls short is that it would not be a good reference book on the wards. While it is organized beautifully for studying, it becomes difficult to look things up when presented with a dermatological question on rounds, or given a patient with an unknown dermatological rash. This book serves as an excellent topic overview for medical students and residents preparing for the USMLE step exams. It is too wide to fit in a white coat jacket, but thin enough to put in your backpack without weighing you down. Hopefully in future editions they will make a smaller version that medical students can put in their white coats for easy access when they have a few minutes to review. Overall, the strongest positives for this book are its easy readability, comprehensive overview for USMLE preparation, and color photos.