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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ronald P. Jensh, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.(Thomas Jefferson University)
Description: This book, specifically intended as a review for Step I of the USMLE, is divided into three sections: histology, cell biology, and clinical vignettes. It is structured in a question and answer format with some black-and-white drawings as illustrations.
Purpose: The purpose is to assist students in their preparation for Step I of the USMLE. As such, it is limited in its scope, as is acknowledged by the authors.
Audience: Second year medical students preparing for the exam are the intended audience.
Features: The histology section covers the traditional major topics, although their order is curiously different from standard textbooks. No topic area is covered in depth and the degree of specificity varies among chapters. The cell biology section goes into greater depth than the histology section, given the comparative volume of the subject matter. The clinical vignettes follow the current trend in presentation on the USMLE. All material is presented in a question and answer format in two columns that is often helpful to students in their review process. The black-and-white drawings are helpful, although in general, they are of limited value given the objectives of this book. There are no great weaknesses to the book, as long as the reader fully understands its limited objective — exam preparation. Any other use of the book would be inappropriate and certainly inadequate.
Assessment: There are other similar review books currently available, although their formats differ somewhat from this one. A more standard approach that includes black-and-white photographs and text in outline form with questions at the end of chapters is USMLE Road Map: Histology, by Sheedlo (McGraw-Hill, 2005). Another one, Anatomy, Histology & Cell Biology: PreTest Self-Assessment & Review, 2nd edition, Klein and Enders (McGraw-Hill, 2005), presents a series of questions at the start of each chapter, followed by the answers. Deja Review is unique in its layout, and that should be considered one of its strengths.