October 31, 1977

An Introduction to the Principles of Disease

Author Affiliations

Duke University Durham, NC


by John B. Walter, 739 pp, 304 illus, $14.50, Canada $14.95, Philadelphia, Saunders, 1977.

JAMA. 1977;238(18):1959-1960. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280190061039

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Old traditions die hard. Walter's "Introduction to the Principles of Disease" exemplifies the notion that a detailed, all-inclusive pathology course is indispensable in training students for a career in health care. Since his audience is the allied health worker, he has simplified concepts and exposition and adopted the educationalists' shibboliths of outlines, behavorial objectives, and review questions, but this is still the second-year course in pathology of the old medical curriculum.

For allied health curriculums able to give a semester-long pathology course, this book fills the void left when the more elementary of Boyd's textbooks went out of business. The prose style is pedestrian, with many prepositions and passive constructions, but the material is clear, complete, and well organized.

In addition to the fundamental mechanisms of general pathology and a quick canvass of temperature regulation, fluid balance, nutritional-metabolic interactions, and the etiologic categories of infection, there is a procession of