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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: George C. Enders, Ph.D.(University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This three-volume set of student workbooks is organized around regional anatomy and contains outlines of key structures, unlabeled simplistic line drawings, partially filled in charts, and clinical questions. Nowhere in the books are there any correctly labeled diagrams, or answers to the clinical questions that are posed. The books are designed to be supplements to a good textbook, atlas, lectures, and cadaveric anatomical dissections. While volume 1 bears the title Limbs and Back on the cover and at the top of all even numbered pages, the back material is actually covered in volume 3, entitled Head, Neck and Back. Unfortunately, this typifies the lack of attention to detail throughout.
Purpose: The purpose is to serve as a workbook for an anatomical course taught to Australian medical students and paramedical disciplines. It is designed to stimulate students to learn and think about clinical anatomy.
Audience: The true audience is likely only medical students at the University of Tasmania, Australia.
Features: Volume 1 has eight chapters on the upper limb, 11 chapters on the lower limb, and two summary chapters: one on myotomes and one on comparison of the upper and lower limbs. This is an unusual emphasis on the lower limb since, clinically, hands and the upper extremity are more important to most patients than the lower extremity. Each chapter is written as if it matches a dissection performed by students, but those pertinent details are not included. Each volume repeats 22 pages of preface and 23 pages of appendixes on the autonomic nervous system and lymphatic system that cover all regions of the body, yet each volume only covers a subset of regional anatomy. This is a waste of 46 pages in two of the three volumes. If this workbook is ever published again, nearly 100 pages would be saved if it was printed as one volume. Volume 2 devotes six chapters to the thorax and 10 chapters to the abdomen, pelvis, and perineum. Volume 3 has 17 chapters covering the head and neck and one chapter covering the back of the neck and trunk.
Assessment: The workbook's key features of outlines, diagrams, charts to be filled in, and clinical questions to be answered are highly variable. For instance, there are no drawings of the skull, essential to understanding head and neck anatomy. The back and spinal cord receive extremely superficial treatment, with no significant discussion of such common problems as herniated disks and congenital spinal defects. It is unlikely that medical students in most U.S. medical schools would have time to use this series of workbooks in conjunction with a gross anatomy course or modular integrated curriculum. While some students might find using this workbook helpful, many others would likely find it frustrating because of the variable depth of coverage and lack of answers to the clinical questions.