Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple

(41 customer reviews)

A brief, clear, thorough, and highly enjoyable updated approach to clinical microbiology, brimming with mnemonics, humor, summary charts and illustrations, from Ebola to AIDS to flesh-eating bacteria; to mad cow disease, hantavirus, anthrax, smallpox, botulism, Clostridium difficile diagnosis and treatment; treatment of gonorrhea in light of growing antimicrobial resistance; Tuberculosis diagnostics, drugs for treatment of latent TB infection and MDR TB; the latest antibiotics; pandemic flu, including H7N9; SARS-like coronavirus; the latest hepatitis C treatment options; the latest HIV diagnostics and approved HIV meds; Zika virus; Measles and a new chapter on the latest emerging infectious diseases and drug resistant bacteria.

Companion Digital Download of Atlas of Microbiology program (Win/Mac).

Excellent for USMLE Board Review.


Book Details






Edition 7 (January 2, 2019)




Includes interactive Atlas of Microbiology download

About The Author

Mark Gladwin

Mark T. Gladwin, M.D. is Jack D. Myers Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine and Director, Pittsburgh Heart, Lung, Blood and Vascular Medicine Institute UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

William Trattler

William Trattler, M.D. is Director of Cornea Center For Excellence In Eye Care Miami, FL, Volunteer Faculty Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine Miami, FL.

C. Scott Mahan

C. Scott Mahan, M.D. is Division Head of Infectious Disease at Charles George VA in Asheville, NC.

Free Digital Download of Interactive Atlas



1. Bacterial Taxonomy
2. Cell Structures, Virulence Factors, and Toxins
3. Bacterial Genetics (Sex)

4. Streptococcus
5. Staphylococcus
6. Bacillus and Clostridium (Spore-Forming Rods)
7. Corynebacterium and Listeria (Non-Spore-Forming Rods)

8. Neisseria
9. The Enterics
10. Hospital-Acquired Gram Negatives
11. Haemophilus, Bordetella, and Legionella
12. Yersinia, Francisella, Brucella, and Pasteurella
13. Chlamydia, Rickettsia, and Friends
14. Spirochetes

15. Mycobacterium

16. Mycoplasma

17. Penicillin Family Antibiotics
18. Anti-ribosomal Antibiotics
19. Anti-Tb and Anti-leprosy Antibiotics
20. Miscellaneous Antibiotics

21. The Fungi
22. Anti-fungal Medications

23. Viral Replication and Taxonomy
24. Orthomyxo and Paramyxoviridae
25. Hepatitis Viridae
26. Retroviridae, HIV, and AIDS
27. Herpseviridae
28. Rest of the DNA Viruses
29. Rest of the RNA Viruses
30. Anti-viral Medications

31. Protozoans
32. Helminths

33. Prions

34. Antimicrobial Resistance: One Step Toward the Post-antibiotic Era
35. The Agents of Bioterrorism
36. Emerging Infectious Diseases

41 reviews for Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple

  1. Estelle B. – The ultimate microbio resource!

    Thanks to this book and the style used to write it, in conjunction with appropriate and entertaining little drawings, I know every single bit of microbiology and correct antibitic for select organism forever. There is no way you can forget what you’ve learn with this incredible method!! Microbio has sincerely become my favorite topic. Honestly!

  2. V – Fantastic tool for studying for Step 1

    This is a perfect book if you’re studying for Step 1. The authors do an amazing job of breaking down the material into manageable, understandable concepts and, on top of that, provide the reader with fantastic mnemonics on how to memorize the material. I did very well on Step 1 and I think this book has helped me a great deal with achieving the high score. Highly recommend.

  3. M. Wilson – This book is awesome! I am a second year medical student and …

    This book is awesome! I am a second year medical student and am using this for the micro section instead of the recommended text. Everything is so well organized and explained and the summary tables at the end of each chapter are a huge help. I would definitely recommend this text, you can’t go wrong!

  4. kc – I used this during micro. It is ridiculous, …

    I used this during micro. It is ridiculous, but I will say that you will never forget “measles brand paint” (measles rash) or “gang of cycles knocking off the blood cells” (ganciclovir myelosuppression) months after reading this book.

    I studied plant pathology and microbiology as an undergrad however that gave me very little advantage in microbiology. In my opinion, microbiology is very abstract for most medical students since it is not feasible to teach medical students basic science microbiology and in all honesty its not relevant unless your going into ID. However, this book will teach you the most highly tested topics in a very memorable way.

    However, if you don’t have a sense of humor and are the kind of person that likes reading Boron physiology over Costanzo physiology… this probably isn’t for you.

  5. soda man – 5.0 out of 5 starsGreat way to study for microbiology if you’re not a rote memorizer

    Makes a hard topic to learn very clear. Microbiology is basically all about memorization, and this book breaks it down to easy to digest bits. The images are a bit simplistic and can be unhelpful, but the meat of it is really in the way to text flows – it feels like a conversation.

  6. Em2020 – Love it!

    I am in np school and love this book! It has tought my a lot a new information. I showed my mother, a microbiologist, the book and she also fell in love, so we decided to by another copy for my little sister in medical school. Definitely recommended!

  7. M. Fab – Glad I found this book when I did

    This text lays out the information you need to know about microbes in a very easy to read manner. I find myself enjoying reading and learning from the images designed to help recall. It has been helpful to use in addition to assigned lectures, and find myself first reading the appropriate material in this text prior to studying the lecture slides. It makes my studies 100% easier and I feel like I am retaining the information better as a result. I’m glad I found this text prior to boards. I’m sure it will be a text I will continue to cite in the future.

  8. Vinay Chaksi – Absolutely love this book

    Absolutely love this book. As a medical student I appreciated the quick but high yield reading and the pictures are so ridiculous they are almost impossible to forget.

  9. Anup – Helped a ton

    This book is a must have for Micro! It helped me learn the drugs with wacky drawings and good pneumonics! It was for sure worth the buy

  10. Michael Brown – Goofy, zany drawings and whacky descriptions will increase your retention for those complicated micro bugs and details!

    Honest review: Purchase this book to help you remember details about microbiology for medical school. The price is not too bad compared to some other required medical textbooks. This text really helped with the immunology-heavy portion of my curriculum and I am fairly certain it will up your micro scores if you put in the work. Some of the drawings are goofy but for me, the goofier the better. Bring this text to class and share the awesome tidbits in this book with your classmates.

  11. Hard worker – Must have for any medical student

    If you want to ace your micro class this is a must have! With this book not only did I get an A in my micro class but I got one of my highest basic sciences shelf score. If you want to do well in your microbiology class get this book!!!

  12. Elizabeth Carroll – By far the BEST text resource I have found for medical school clinical …

    By far the BEST text resource I have found for medical school clinical microbiology. It does not go too in depth like some other reviews had mentioned- and it covers all the high yield topics. Highly recommended.

  13. Carls Barkley – Thank you!

    This simplified and explained my M2 microbiology course exceptionally well! I consider it a must have for the second year of medical school!

  14. Monoohio – Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple

    Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple!!
    Best micriobiology textbook for self-teaching.
    Buy it now I

  15. Alberto Alcantara – Awesome

    Humor and cleverness are behind the lines of CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY MADE RIDICULOUSLY SIMPLE. A masterpiece that should be present in the bookshelf of each med student. I bought two other books from the “MADE RIDICULOUSLY SIMPLE” series thanks to that one and I can’t wait to put my hands on them!

    10/10. 100/100. 1000/1000. Wonderful.

  16. Miranda Aragon – Extremely fun and helpful!

    I would not have been able to pass Infectious Disease in medical school without this book. It has unique ways of organizing bugs and especially entertaining ways of learning details that WILL be tested on. My professors told us that this book was “too simple” to formally require it, but honestly, it was the textbook I used the most.

  17. Ivan D. – Excellent book

    Excellent book. Very up-to-date. No color micrographs of pathogens, but that keeps the price of the book low, so more people can afford it.

  18. PHaytac – Excellent Board Prep book!

    I’ve had the advantage of being introduced to this wonderful book. Learning microbiology can be overwhelming coming from class notes and so this book came as a blessing 3 years ago and now as I prepare for national boards. There are simple mnemonics that help you not only understand, but quickly memorize information. This way, your studies are more efficient when a gross amount of information needs to be memorized. Many times I found myself referring to this wonderful book more than my notes. If you are a visual learner you will love the cartoons that quickly explain an organism/infection. You may forget certain information during your intense education, but you will certainly remember those visuals for exams and years down the road. Trust me, its MADE RIDICULOUSLY SIMPLE!!!

  19. Joey L. – Very Useful Series

    I love this whole series of books. They break things down really well. I’m a PA student and needed a bit of a microbiology refresher. This has been very helpful for my needs. I plan on keeping it as a resource throughout my schooling and career. If you’re in any sort of field that needs an understanding of microorganisms, this is incredibly helpful.

  20. Jose Calderon – Simple learning

    Love that is gets to the point of the what you wanna learn and simple ridicules. Thank you

  21. Yesenia – has great drawings, funny mnemonics

    This book is straight to the point, has great drawings, funny mnemonics, and especially useful charts to help you memorize organisms. Although, it’s geared towards studying for boards. I use it as a tool to study for my microbiologist license. Since, there’s so much to remember in microbiology, this book makes it fun and enjoyable.

  22. GMA817 – Five stars

    best microbiology textbook I’ve ever had, it’s fun and easy to read, doesn’t feel like you’re studying!

  23. Andrew – If you want to better understand infections, get this book

    This book is outstanding. It is incredibly efficient, in that the sections written are the major pieces of microbiology that a healthcare professional should know. I really wish this book was used instead of the text I had to use in my microbiology class. Very comprehensive and well focused for healthcare.

  24. Stephanie S – Excellent Resource

    This book is definitely what I needed. It’s a great primer for clinical micro and keeps complex things simple through the use of diagrams and drawings. Each chapter is short enough to go through on a break, and it’s written to be very high yield.

  25. Sule B. – Cool diagrams.

    Very cool diagrams and sketches to help you recall. If you have a hard time remembering any one thing this book was a good additional look from a different angle. Not all of the required ones in class were in the book but the ones that were in there were very useful.

  26. Rebecca – It’s a great addition to my text book

    Very resourceful. Gives things simply and to the point. The author adds little funny lines through out to keep the topic light but also helps with recalling important info. So far-so good.

  27. KTC – Best microbiology book out there for medical students.

    Memorizing all of the necessary facts about microbiology is difficult and unenjoyable. If you’re like me, you have trouble sitting down and memorizing a list of facts about bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This book helps to build memorable associations that make remembering this material much simpler at test time.

    My biggest regret during micro in medical school is not buying this book sooner. I highly recommend that you purchase this early.

  28. LPM – Amazing, love the bit-sized, concise chapters that present the material in a clear and memorable way. Makes the material a joy to read.

    Amazing, love the bit-sized, concise chapters that present the material in a clear and memorable way. Makes the material a joy to read.

  29. Hong H – I highly recommended.

    Very simple to understand, this is a helpful book for microbiology. I highly recommended.

  30. Tatiana Bradley – Love this book so much that I decided to keep …

    it helped me to pass microbiology! Love this book so much that I decided to keep it as reference for later.

  31. Angeline Modesti – Five stars

    absolutely necessary if you are studying micro and are taking step 1 boards

  32. faisal alsadoun – Really an amazing microbiology book that gives you information in a very …

    Really an amazing microbiology book that gives you information in a very creative way.
    Absolutely recommend it especially during the first and second year in the college of Medicine.

  33. ajmj2018 – Great for boards studying

    Followed my microbiology course in medical school almost to the letter, makes a tough topic clear and simple (but not overly simple). Great for boards studying!

  34. Sadek – Amazon book!!

    This book got me through micro review with awesome results. The mnemonics and illustrations get the point across and help you remember the essential concepts in micro.

  35. Charlene Espada – Awesome!

    This book is awesome!!! It explains everything in detail where you actually understand what you’re reading. I highly recommend it!

  36. Diana Turner – Even for us “old docs”

    I remember using this book in medical school. Now, seven years out, so much has changed. The book is thicker than the first! But this is an excellent review on some of the basics I’ve forgotten, but more importantly, the world of microbiology has changed so much (taxonomy, new species). This is a great way to keep current. I’m also using to prepare for int med recertification. I loved it again the second time!

  37. aquamagic – Excellent book!!! Must-have for micro.

    This book makes microbiology manageable. The pictures and mnemonics make it easier to remember the facts, and the tone of the book is pretty conversational so it is easy to understand.

  38. JLo – The BEST Micro review book!!

    This book was a lifesaver during my microbiology course in med school. Not only did it take an overwhelming amount of information and make it easier to learn and memorize, but it also was really funny! Even years later I still remember many of the mnemonics! This book has been a classic and a must-have for med students across the country. I would HIGHLY recommend this to anyone taking a a microbiology course.

  39. yesenia – has great drawings, funny mnemonics

    This book is straight to the point, has great drawings, funny mnemonics, and especially useful charts to help you memorize organisms. Although, it’s geared towards studying for boards. I use it as a tool to study for my microbiologist license. Since, there’s so much to remember in microbiology, this book makes it fun and enjoyable.

  40. Ibrahim – This is the book you need as a medical student …

    This is the book you need as a medical student reading microbiology. It contains all you need in an easy-to-digest manner. It is readable and enough for undergraduate level and for step 1 usmle.

  41. Heidi J Steere – Great supplement – won’t replace textbook

    I got this as a supplement to Jawetz, Melnick, & Adelberg’s Medical Microbiology textbook. It has a lot of high-value info condensed into short chapters. What I found most helpful (and that you won’t get in a regular textbook) are lots of helpful mnemonics and drawings to help with memorization. The drawings look a little silly at first glance, but once you read the authors explanation, they are hard to forget. Granted some of them are a stretch – but overall very helpful. You could spend a lot of time trying to come up with your own mnemonics and memory cues, or you could get this book. I got an A in my clinical micro class, and think this book definitely helped.

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