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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Eugene A Davidson, PhD (Georgetown University School of Medicine)
Description: This outline of material generally taught in a medical biochemistry course is highly schematic in approach and intended as a quick review mechanism for students.
Purpose: This book is intended for medical students wishing a compact review of material generally taught in biochemistry. This approach to fast learning is not necessarily coupled with understanding. There are gaps in coverage, the seriousness of which depends on the venue in which the parent course is taught.
Audience: The book is specifically targeted to medical students wishing a rapid review of biochemistry. Experience with such students supports the concept that there is a demand for such a book. The author has taught this material.
Features: Medical school places substantial pressure on students. Even though most students possess high academic credentials, the amount of material and the pace at which it is covered stresses even the best. Accordingly, the interest in distilled review material for quick study, preparation for licensing examinations, etc., is understandable. This book offers a highly condensed overview of much material normally taught in medical biochemistry. Topical coverage is selective, little or no clinical relevance is provided, and metabolism suffers from a lack of integrative ideas. There is no bibliography and a limited number of illustrations; sample questions, a common feature of such books, are also lacking. The book will be of limited utility to most students, but those wishing a brush-up the night before the big test may find value.
Assessment: This type of book caters to much that educators decry in medical students. It is somewhat reminiscent of quick weight loss diets that are effective only in the short term. In this genre, there are better books.