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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Sophie La Salle, PhD (Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine)
Description: Featuring rich illustrations, online access to study questions, and a new series of integrative clinical cases, this book presents the essentials of biochemistry. The previous edition was published in 2010.
Purpose: The main purpose is to help students quickly review and assimilate essential concepts in human biochemistry. It identifies critical information, enabling readers to focus on key points.
Audience: Although intended primarily for medical students, particularly those preparing for their licensing examinations, the book also may be useful to other healthcare graduate students (e.g. dental or pharmacy students) and biological sciences undergraduate students, as well as physicians looking for concise explanations of various biochemistry concepts. Dr. Ferrier has vast experience teaching medical students and is specifically involved in developing curricula and methods to assist student learning in medical school.
Features: The book presents a wide array of topics related to human biochemistry with a specific emphasis on metabolism (units I-V) as well as broad concepts related to molecular biology (unit VI). A new chapter on blood clotting is available from the online version, accessible via a code supplied in the book, but not included in the print version. The book focuses on basic biochemical concepts as they apply to human medicine and presents relevant clinical information when pertinent. Illustrations adequately support the written text, and additional explanations in the form of capsules are often included in the figures. Each chapter begins with an overview and ends with a summary, which situate readers and reinforce the concepts. Chapters also end with multiple-choice questions to help readers assess their understanding of the material. Additional practice material is available online. The best feature of this edition is certainly the series of clinical cases (a detailed answer key is provided) designed to help integrate concepts. It should be noted that, due to its concise nature, this book is likely better suited for readers with prior exposure to biochemistry. It is a good companion for a more detailed textbook because it helps readers identify critical information.
Assessment: This is a useful review that emphasizes key biochemical concepts as they relate to the study of human medicine. It serves its purpose efficiently; it is easy to read and presents the information concisely. However, it is light on basic cellular and molecular biology concepts often important for a better understanding of some biochemistry notions. Therefore, this book might serve its purpose better if used in combination with a textbook presenting the essentials of cellular and molecular biology. The new clinical cases in the appendix, the bonus online chapter on blood clotting, and access to expanded online assessment resources certainly justify replacing the previous edition.