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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael F. Dauzvardis, PhD (Loyola University Medical Center)
Description: The fifth edition of this book represents a somewhat abbreviated form of the parent text, The Developing Human.
Purpose: The primary goal is to present the essentials of human embryology and teratology in a format useful for students of medicine and associated health services. The authors meet this goal by artfully coordinating lucid color drawings, photographs, MRIs, and clinical correlations with clear, concise prose.
Audience: The authors, both highly regarded professors of anatomy, target an audience consisting primarily of medical students, although undergraduate biology and nursing students and expectant parents could benefit from this work as well.
Features: The focus is on the miracle of human development from gametogenesis to birth. Special attention is placed on the first eight weeks of development, with the majority of chapters zeroing in on a given organ system. By far, the book's greatest strength is its color illustrations. These "three dimensional" drawings are quite successful in depicting migration and growth of various embryologic primordia. MRIs, ultrasounds, and scanning electron micrographs complement these drawings.
Assessment: For years Langmans Medical Embryology has been the tool of choice for many medical embryology course directors, but perhaps these faculty would be well advised to peruse this publication. There really exists little comparison in the quality of images, tables, and overall layout of the two texts. However, this book is far superior in using graphics to convey a conceptually difficult topic to the reader.