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A brief review of Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine, 7th Edition

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A brief review of Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine, 7th Edition
Noah Scheinfeld MD
Dermatology Online Journal 14 (1): 26

Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine has long been a standard dermatological textbook. As a medical intern, I acquired the fifth edition and was impressed by its thorough and detailed reviews. At the time, it was the only the comprehensive dermatology textbook.

Times have changed and the dermatology textbook edited by Jean Bolognia and her collaborators (Dermatology), with its nifty color graphics and USA today-like format, has leapt to the top of the reading lists of dermatology residents. I suppose, to join the Web 2.0 world the publishers of Fitzpatrick's decided to totally revamp their text. With the passing of Irwin Freedberg, several new editors, including Amy Paller and David Leffell, have joined the masthead. The new seventh edition of Fitzpatrick looks nothing like its last three predecessors. Fitzpatrick's 7th edition now occupies a niche between the Andrew's Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology and Jean Bolognia's Dermatology textbooks. The E-BOOK DOWNLOAD option for the entire text, which includes the ability to search and annotate content and download images into your own presentations, is included in your purchase. Interestingly most of the footnotes are not in the textbook, but on a website (

In general, the chapters are thorough, well written, and informative. In my opinion, there are 10 improvements that the seventh edition makes over the previous editions.

  • Most of the footnotes are no longer in the text, but in the online versions.
  • The text is easier to read with 3 columns instead of 2.
  • The font size is larger.
  • There are many great new pictures (in particular ones of Koplick spots).
  • Some reviews are more comprehensive than in the past (pharmacology).
  • It includes work from many new authors.
  • The format is excellent for the quick acquisition of factoids in the "At a Glance" Section.
  • Many more useful tables are included.
  • More of the images are in color.
  • There is integration with the web; the whole text is available for your computer.

In summary, if you liked the old versions of Fitzpatrick's dermatology textbook, the new one will appeal to you. It lacks some of the comprehensiveness and the snappy tables of the Bolognia text (The second edition is coming out in 2008.) and the brevity of the Andrews text. Fitz the 7th strikes a middle ground. Which text will residents gravitate toward? This is a question that Drs. Wolff, Goldsmith, Katz, Gilcrest, Paller, and Lefell are eager to have decided in their favor.

© 2008 Dermatology Online Journal