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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Loretta L. White , DNS (Indiana State University)
Description: This general overview of human anatomy and physiology includes all body systems. It covers physiology that relates to the organism as a whole as well as a discussion of related topics including growth and development, genetics and heredity. Special emphasis is placed on understanding integration and unification of body structure and function. The previous edition was published in 2003.
Purpose: According to the authors, the purpose is to provide accurate and timely information so that the reader can easily assimilate the most important and useful information from what is admittedly an enormous field. Any book that succeeds in this endeavor is indeed welcomed by both students and teachers. There is ample evidence that this book meets it objectives.
Audience: This book is written for students engaged in any discipline that requires the learner to have a foundational understanding of human anatomy and physiology. Both authors have taught this subject for many years and have written several editions of this text as well as others.
Features: In addition to body systems and related topics, this book offers a multitude of additional features designed to assist the learner in the study of anatomy and physiology. Each chapter includes introductory outlines, brief but pertinent vocabulary lists, important related pathophysiology, review questions, and case studies. Of particular note are the "Big Picture" boxes throughout the book. These brief discussions of how body systems' structure and function work together provide the foundation that the authors build on to fulfill the goal of helping students more easily learn anatomy and physiology.
Assessment: While this is a beautifully illustrated, comprehensive textbook of basic anatomy and physiology, I would not choose it for a one semester foundational anatomy and physiology course due to its extensive content. However, it would work very well for a course that was spread over two semesters. Having said that, I believe the trend among authors of anatomy and physiology texts to branch out from the subject matter to include bits and pieces of pathophysiology, medical terminology, nursing, and medicine is unnecessary. The space devoted to this content could better be used to further enhance an understanding of anatomy and physiology. Anatomy and physiology is inherently interesting in and of itself and deserves to stand alone in the curriculum. Those of us who teach these other subjects appropriately and necessarily integrate anatomy and physiology concepts into our lectures along with concepts from other disciplines. I don't believe it should be the other way around.