Review of blood cells is a staple for medical school, residency, and fellowship training. Whether one specializes in primary care or a subspecialty, reading and interpreting blood smears can enhance one's acumen in pinpointing specific diseases, thereby avoiding unnecessary tests, delays, and confusion. In hematology/oncology fellowships, fellows are taught blood cell (and bone marrow) morphology by counting and identifying thousands of cells in normal and abnormal smears, either by apprenticeship with a master or by comparison of cells, cell by cell, with an atlas. As the number of faculty hours available for mentoring at the microscope dwindles, increasing numbers of trainees will need to plod through sets of smears with the best possible atlas at their side.
Mehta P. Blood Cells: An Atlas of Morphology With Clinical Relevance. JAMA. 2008;300(7):853-854. doi:10.1001/jama.300.7.jbk0820-e