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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Alvin Telser, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This is a condensed or abbreviated textbook of histology. It is richly illustrated with many computer-rendered illustrations of histology specimens.
Purpose: The authors describe this book as being intended to serve redesigned medical curricula such as those that have integrated components and rely more heavily on student self-directed learning. These are reasonable objectives, but this book does little more to meet them than any other of the many shortened histology texts. Furthermore, there is no more significant integration of material in this text than other similar texts.
Audience: The book is written for first-year medical students and would serve as a useful review text for second-year students as well. The degree of detail is consistent with this audience. These authors have written similar texts previously and are credible authorities in the field.
Features: Illustrations are at the heart of histology; therefore, there is an appropriately large number of them in this book. The computer renderings are attractive but often very hard to interpret. Those that are printed in various shades of gray are much easier to interpret than the majority that are printed in a number of similar shades and contrasts of blue. Efforts to make drawings 3-dimensional or to look like an actual sectioned specimen only make them harder to see and interpret. The table of contents and index are adequate. References are brief and also adequate. The book has an attractive appearance, but looks aren't everything.
Assessment: This book is more useful as a review text rather than as a primary text. Libraries would probably not find it worthwhile adding it to their collections. Medical school bookstores should stock this text because they will probably sell a reasonable number to individual students. The information and diagrams in the text are quite accurate and up-to-date. However, the legend to Figure 11-26 contains a significant error: it describes intestinal mucosa but the diagram is one of gastric mucosa. Medical and dental students may find this book helpful, but like all condensed tests, it lacks the depth and authority of standard histology textbooks.