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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jay P. Goldsmith, MD (Tulane University School of Medicine)
Description: This is the seventh edition of a beautifully illustrated, student-oriented book on human embryology and development. It comes with access to the complete contents online via Student Consult, which also has unique embryology animations and additional questions and answers for exam preparation. The previous edition was published in 2003.
Purpose: The book is designed as a primary resource for health and other medical professional students to study normal and abnormal human embryology and development. It is specifically oriented to help prepare students to take exams (USMLE Step 1) and has sample questions and answers at the end of each chapter. The authors meet their goals with the help of excellent illustrations.
Audience: Although written for students in the health professions, the book will serve as a good resource for any medical professional trying to understand developmental anomalies in children. The illustrations are extremely helpful in understanding congenital heart defects and anomalies of the central nervous system, as well as all the other systems of the body. For this reason, it will be invaluable to pediatric subspecialists, especially those in academia, who teach students and residents about these anomalies. The authors, especially Dr. Moore, are internationally regarded as the leading authorities in this field.
Features: An introduction to embryology and human reproduction begins the book, which then reviews human development chronologically through pregnancy. After a review of the placenta, the rest of the book devotes individual chapters to the embryology and development of each organ system, ending with a brief chapter on the multiple causes of birth defects. The color illustrations make difficult 3-dimensional concepts easy to understand. Each chapter is followed by several clinically oriented questions and answers to prepare students for exams. Since the questions are clinical, they sometimes go beyond the scope of the text, but the answers at the back of the book act as additional educational material and place emphasis on important clinical implications of the embryology.
Assessment: This compares quite favorably to the standard embryology text we use in our medical school (Langman's Medical Embryology, 10th edition, Sadler (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006) and the illustrations are much better. Moreover, the link to the Student Consult online and the question and answer sections make this a good reference for any healthcare professional student.