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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: John K. Hubbard, PhD, PT (Texas A&M University Health Science Center)
Description: This is a very concise overview of human anatomy correlated with high quality photographs of expertly dissected human specimens. The book, organized by specific regions of the body, delivers a basic description of the illustrated structures, interspersed with clinical correlations related to the various regions.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a brief, concise, and to the point text detailing only the most pertinent aspects of human anatomy in order to fit into a compressed curricular model, facilitate understanding of anatomy, and hopefully stimulate further study of human anatomy. The anatomical descriptions are correlated with photographs of beautifully prepared cadaveric prosections. Although the authors meet their objectives for this book (considering the compressed time frame most human gross anatomy courses are forced to fit into), there remains a need for the detailed anatomical book that will allow medical students to learn the intricacies of human anatomy necessary for the practice of medicine.
Audience: According to the authors, this is written for entry level medical (and allied health professional) students as well as junior postgraduate trainees. The authors all have sufficient teaching experience to determine the needs of the students. Despite the compressed curricular model this book was designed for, the authors do not present sufficient detail in text or photographic illustrations for this level of student. It would be useful as a rapid review for this level of student, or as an entry level text for students who need a general understanding of human anatomy without the benefit of a cadaver dissection lab.
Features: The book regionally presents the majority of the body in photographic detail and brief text. Some regions are presented extremely briefly, and an appendix that describes anatomical features (primarily of the abdomen and pelvis) does not include photographs. The best aspect of the book, the high quality photographs of extremely detailed dissections, is also the most disappointing. The pictures simply are too small to show the detail the dissections should be able to demonstrate. The majority of the photographs are relegated to a quarter-page each. They should be at least a half-page, and many deserve a full page. The bold highlighted clinical correlations are extremely brief, and do not really describe the full extent of these conditions. As the authors intended, the salient feature of this text is its brevity.
Assessment: The work that went into preparing the cadaveric prosections deserves better presentation of the photographs and explanatory text. I understand the author's desire for brevity, but this book presents only the most basic anatomical information, insufficient for the intended audience.