The study of blood and hematologic disorders has special appeal for medical students as well as physicians at all stages of their training. Few specialties have such a broad impact on other medical disciplines. A competent hematologist must be wellgrounded in pathology, internal medicine, pediatrics, and surgery. Conversely, both generalists and other specialists regularly encounter patients with anemia, hemorrhage, thrombosis, and hematologic malignancies. For many students, the close kinship of hematology with laboratory medicine is an added virtue. Few medical disciplines enjoy such a rich array of reliable and informative diagnostic tests, and none has stronger underpinnings in contemporary molecular and cell biology and molecular pathology.
Our book is designed to introduce medical students to the physiological principles underlying the regulation and function of blood cells and hemostasis as well as the pathophysiologic mechanisms responsible for the development of blood disorders. We have placed more emphasis on principles than on practice. Accordingly, we have avoided technical details pertaining to diagnostic tests and procedures as well as the compilation of specific drugs and dosages. Instead, issues pertaining to diagnosis and management are covered primarily within a framework of pathogenesis.
The organization and contents of the book are based on a 3-week hematology course given to students in their second year at Harvard Medical School. All of the authors of individual chapters are lecturers in this course, and many of the figures have been taken directly or adapted from their lectures. We wrote the first drafts of all the co-authored chapters and revised them following in-depth input from our colleagues. Moreover, each of us provided thorough reviews of the others' chapters. All figures in this book were redrawn by a single artist and vetted by both of us. We hope that these measures have enabled our book to achieve uniformity of style and clarity along with a high level of scientific rigor and clinical relevance.
We are indebted to a number of individuals who helped bring our book to fruition. James Shanahan, Karen Edmonson, and Armen Ovsepyan at McGraw- Hill provided critical editorial advice including guidance on how to make the book useful and interesting to students. Jessica Hughes and Muriel Goutas provided invaluable secretarial help. Dr. Jeff Kutok (Brigham and Women's Hospital) and Carola von Kapff contributed images of some of the peripheral smears used in the book. About 10 months prior to publication, a draft of this book was provided to 180 Harvard medical students, class of 2012. Many were remarkably conscientious and astute in picking up technical as well as conceptual errors. We are grateful for their input, which improved the final version of the book substantially. Finally, we thank our wives, Erin Malone and Betsy Bunn for their love and support.
H. Franklin Bunn
Jon C. Aster