Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Anatoly Bezkorovainy, JD, PhD (Rush Medical College of Rush University)
Description: This is a comprehensive biochemistry review book designed for use by medical students. There are multiple-choice questions at the end of each chapter, with additional questions at the end of the book. This fifth edition updates the fourth edition, which appeared 3 years ago.
Purpose: The purpose is to serve as a companion to a larger text while learning biochemistry or as a review book for the USMLEs. Though there are many texts of this type on the market, this seems to stand out because of its comprehensive, though superficial, coverage of the field. The stated objectives are worthwhile because there is certainly a need for this type of a book, and the author has done a good job of meeting this need.
Audience: The audience is largely medical students, and the level of writing is consistent with this group's needs.
Features: This is a relatively short book, and care must be taken not to overillustrate it, lest precious space becomes too meager to include essential material. The author has done an admirable job of balancing the need for illustrations and textual material. Illustrations are comprehensible, though relatively uncomplicated. The index and table of contents are adequate. There is no need for references, though major texts of biochemistry are mentioned. There is a sufficient number of good multiple choice questions. A most welcome feature is a chapter at the end of the book summarizing and integrating intermediary metabolism.
Assessment: This is a good review book, although using it as a primary source for learning biochemistry cannot be encouraged. There are some shortcomings, e.g., DNA and RNA biosynthesis are treated very briefly. However, for review purposes, I would recommend this book to my students.