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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Alvin Telser, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This third edition of a brief treatment of cell biology and histology is one in a Board Review Series.
Purpose: The authors intend this book to serve as an outline/review of cell biology and histology. Since there are already many other books like it on the market, it does not fill a major need. Nonetheless, it meets the authors' objectives due to its brevity and completeness, and it does so admirably.
Audience: The book would be best used by students preparing for the USMLE Step 1 Exam, i.e., medical students in their second or third year of medical school. The content would also be appropriate for dental students preparing for their board exams. First year medical students may find the book useful as a brief review of their first year courses in cell biology and histology. These students are the appropriate targets for this book. The authors are knowledgeable in the field and have published several other books in this general area.
Features: This book does not have as many illustrations as is typical of books in this topic area. The line drawings are fine but the light and electron micrographs are of poor quality. Literature references are not needed in a book of this type. The table of contents and the index are fine. The book is printed on a low quality paper that is almost newsprint-like. It has many useful tables and diagrams. Each chapter concludes with a set of review questions, mostly multiple choice, some matching, and a few structure identifications based on micrographs. There is also a comprehensive exam at the end of the book.
Assessment: This book should be purchased by the student; it is priced quite inexpensively. Therefore bookstores should stock it and libraries should not. Students may find it to be useful, but it has little that other books with similar purposes do not also have. One of its particular strengths is that it covers a somewhat broader range of information than similar books by including some clinical correlations in each chapter as well as some functional material in several chapters. This third edition is a rather complete reworking of the previous edition and is directed at preparation for board exams rather than as a condensed/review text of cell biology and histology per se.