Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Alvin Telser, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This new book of multiple choice questions (MCQs) covers a number of topics in cell biology rather thoroughly. It contains conventional questions (a question followed by a choice of five answers) as well as a number of questions in several other formats. There is a short explanation of the correct answers after each block of 10 to12 questions.
Purpose: It is written for second-year medical students who are preparing for Board exams (USMLE). It may also be useful for undergraduate students whose exams are in the MCQ format. The book does achieve this end, but the content is not especially challenging.
Audience: The book is targeted at second-year medical students and is probably best suited for them, but first-year medical students and certain undergraduate students may find it helpful. The authors are reasonably well-known cell biologists.
Features: The major special features of this book are electron micrographs. Some of the micrographs are poorly reproduced or are of too low a magnification to be interpreted accurately. There is no major need for a table of contents or index, but it might have been helpful to include chapter references to one or more of the standard textbooks of cell biology.
Assessment: The book may be useful to second-year medical students who are looking for a complete review of cell biology, but it may be too lengthy, because the USMLEs do not have a large number of cell biology questions. Furthermore, many of the questions in this book are dependent on recall rather than on problem-solving or application of knowledge, which are features emphasized in the USMLEs. The book might have been strengthened by including sections on tissue biology and some basics of histology rather than concentrating so heavily on cell biology. Medical school bookstores may be a better place to carry this book rather than libraries.