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From The CriticsReviewer: Mary Louise Bareither, PhD (UIC College of Applied Health Sciences)
Description: This is the second edition of a fairly comprehensive anatomy text that uses a regional approach. This clinically oriented book includes artwork that is easy to understand, images using various techniques, and many clinical cases that make the anatomical information relevant and allow students to apply an understanding of anatomical concepts to clinical problems. The first edition was published in 2005.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a book to help students learn human anatomy. One of the most significant changes in this edition is an introductory chapter with an overview of the body systems that includes numerous examples of common clinical problems. Most medical and allied health professions curricula are including more integration of systems and clinical cases. Teaching anatomy in this format is needed and the authors of this book have added significant content to help students achieve this type of understanding and learning.
Audience: Students in a variety of professional healthcare programs are the intended audience, but because of its readability and excellent artwork, the book also is appropriate for advanced undergraduate students studying human anatomy. The author is well known for his involvement in anatomical education through the American Association of Anatomists as well as for spearheading the development of a new medical college at the esteemed Cleveland Clinic. Adding A. Wayne Vogl, a professor of anatomy and member of the medicine faculty at the University of Vancouver, and Adam Mitchell, a radiologist and imaging consultant at Charing Cross Hospital in London, has created a combination of expertise that lends itself well to modern anatomy curricula.
Features: The first chapter, titled "The Body," includes an overview of anatomical terms, describes imaging, and briefly addresses each body system. This overview is helpful for students to get the bigger picture of what the book covers. "In the Clinic" boxes appear after each system to help direct the student's understanding of the relevance of anatomy to injury and disease. Subsequent chapters address each region of the body in the mode typical of most anatomy books. Throughout the book, various concepts are highlighted in green, which are reinforced by the numerous "In the Clinic" boxes that incorporate these concepts. Finally, several clinical cases at the end of each chapter refer to topics covered and concepts highlighted. The clinical cases are not too detailed and are quite understandable to help readers integrate the clinical information with the anatomy just learned. Several images are photographs with anatomical overlays of bones, muscles and other anatomical structures, which should prove to be very helpful for students to orient anatomical structures to surface anatomy. The remainder of the artwork is simplified enough to be clearly understood, but with enough detail to be correct anatomically. Throughout the book, there are occasional errors in labeling or spelling, or missing information. Most of these are minor and should not detract from the usefulness of the book. One major error of concern, however, is the table on extra-ocular movement, Table 8.8, in which the innervation of the muscles and the actions of those muscles are incorrect. This table is clearly wrong and needs to be corrected in an erratum.
Assessment: This is a student friendly, easy-to-read book on human anatomy. Although the book is written for medical or allied health students, its readability makes it well suited for advanced undergraduate students as well. The artwork is very engaging and helps with the understanding of anatomical concepts. Throughout the book there are numerous images using various imaging techniques, as well as highlighted clinical information which help students to translate newly acquired anatomical knowledge to clinical cases. This edition does an excellent job of emphasizing clinical integration and will be quite helpful to students in the health professions. Compared to Clinically Oriented Anatomy, 6th edition, Moore et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010), Gray's is more appealing due to its artwork and readability, while Clinically Oriented Anatomy may be somewhat more advanced and comprehensive in its content. However, access to the Student Consult web site, which is available with a PIN in each copy of the Gray's, does provide advanced clinical cases and information and testing options so that there is no inherent deficit in students' knowledge if they use this book as their primary anatomy text.