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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bruce A. Fenderson, PhD (Thomas Jefferson University)
Description: Physiology is a core discipline for students of medicine and allied health. Before students learn about pathology, they must appreciate normal biological processes, such as active transport and muscle contraction. This compact, softcover book, part of the Lang Physiology series, provides a concise introduction to physiology. Other books in this series address specialized topics such as renal and endocrine physiology. The seven chapters cover topics ranging from biological membranes to neural synapses. The focus is on cellular physiology and some biochemistry.
Purpose: According to the author, the purpose is to introduce readers to cell physiology in a clinically-relevant (practical) manner. It also provides the reader with high yield information as a prelude to board examinations.
Audience: The book will be appreciated by first-year medical students preparing to study organ-specific pathophysiology. It will also be useful for graduate students who desire a short introduction to core principles of cell physiology (e.g., membrane receptors, action potentials, synapses, muscle physiology).
Features: Each chapter begins with a short list of learning objectives. Key concepts are highlighted throughout. Each chapter concludes with a review of key concepts, as well as thought-provoking study questions and a list of suggested readings. The book is focused and concise. Answers to the chapter-associated study questions and a sample physiology examination are appended. The line drawings and two color illustrations are well done and informative. The author is an award-winning teacher and excellent writer.
Assessment: This book helps elucidate core principles of cell physiology with excellent writing and helpful figures. The author includes some historical digressions, which facilitate learning. Although the main topics are limited in scope and overlap with biochemistry, they do cover high yield topics (e.g., channels and membrane potentials). The book is formatted to stimulate learning without overwhelming the reader with verbiage and isolated facts. Students of medicine will find it useful for self-assessment and USMLE board review.