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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mike J Green, BS, BFA (Midwestern University)
Description: This dissector wonderfully combines the strengths of a photographic atlas with the simple step-by-step approach expected of any worthwhile dissector.
Purpose: The book fills a gaping void in the available dissector selections by providing anatomy students with actual human images for the process of human dissection. The distinct merit of this book is that it provides the framework of anatomic dissection alongside real images of performed dissection. This provides students with not only a firmer grasp of anatomy, but also a more supportive framework to explore the human body from the outside in. This is a welcome addition to the instructional books that guide students through this difficult area.
Audience: This is a helpful and needed resource for health sciences students taking a gross anatomy course.
Features: It begins with an efficient description of the techniques and methods for dissection that are referenced throughout the book, providing the required skill set to accomplish the tasks required. For each of the more technical dissections, highlighted text suggests tips and alternative approaches to locate/expose required structures. Clinical vignettes are welcome, both to add interest to the units and to refocus on the humanity that is often lost during a dissection.
Assessment: I wish I could have used this book when I took gross anatomy. It is a welcome combination of the two-book system my peers and I used — one photographic atlas and one diagrammatic dissector. As medical students, we live on details and technicalities. When I took anatomy, we spent an inappropriate amount of time trying to match the drawings of anatomical structures to the cadaver at hand. One of the strengths of this atlas is a well-defined ratio of text to photographs. While traditional dissectors rely on dotted lines and artistic renderings, this photographic dissector offers a follow-along flip-book to dissection. Although the Rohen photographic atlas (Color Atlas of Anatomy: A Photographic Study of the Human Body, 7th edition, Rohen et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011)) is the medical student standard for cadaveric comparison, what it lacks is any useful information for the steps required to reveal the showcased structures. This photographic dissector is superior to both the standard dissector and the photographic atlas in the way that each section carefully maintains an anatomical landmark in each stepwise dissection photograph, helping in students' orientation to the evolving dissection views. I hope the second edition of this dissector incorporates some of the traditional diagrammatic methods. While I would still choose this dissector over any of the others available, as photographs are infinitely superior to artist renditions, I would still benefit from the occasional overlaid guidelines, instructional arrows, or other schematics adding instructional graphics to some of the more challenging dissections. Lastly, while there are lengthy descriptions and numerous labels in each image, I hope that the second edition will include bolding of the terms that are the new focus in the image sequence.