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From the Publisher"Each chapter moves concisely through the appropriate science,highlighting its relevance to clinical practice. The information iswell presented and easy to navigate." (Oxford Medical SchoolGazette, 2011)
"This new book in the Lecture Notes series covers most ofthe important areas in biomedical sciences relevant to any doctorof tomorrow. It is a condensation of the essentials of the Oxfordundergraduate pre-clinical medical course. Chapters on the broaderareas of the curriculum such as ‘Cell biology’,‘Molecular biology’ and ‘Anatomy’ arefollowed by chapters that take more of a systems approach e.g.‘Cardiovascular’, ‘Respiratory’ and‘Gastrointestinal’ etc. The necessary chapters on‘Immunology’, ‘Microbiology’ and even‘Statistics’, are also included.
The aim of the author is to provide: ‘A resource of theessential facts, without too much additional detail’. Theclassic Lecture Notes format of short prose and bulletpoints alongside simple diagrams is used. This is achieved wellwith the addition of useful ‘Definition’ and‘Clinical’ significance boxes throughout the text whichare helpfully colour coded. There is no bulky text and subheadingsclearly and logically breakup the information making is easy todigest. Diagrams are simple, colourful and informative. Mostchapters come in at a very readable 20 pages long.
The Good - This book provides the essential facts in mostof the topics that medical students and future doctors will beexpected to be well versed in. Each chapter moves concisely throughthe appropriate science, highlighting its relevance to clinicalpractice. The information is well presented and easy to navigate.Diagrams have been intentionally kept simple whilst retaining themost important information as to make them easily reproducible inthe exam situation. The diagrams in the anatomy sections of thebook are of particular merit, managing to be both simple yetinformation rich. The addition of a chapter on statistics is a niceand highly appropriate addition to this, and indeed any, medicalsciences text.
The Bad - Although very readable, in my opinion, thisbook is found a little wanting on content. When compared to textsof a similar ilk such as the Oxford Handbook of Medical Sciences,which also has the advantage of being more compact, this becomesapparent. Common to other texts in the Lecture Notes series,the style can be somewhat uninspiring in places. Although aiming atessential facts I think this book would benefit from slightly moredetail in some areas, more as a facilitator in the understanding ofthe basics, even if it is not retained by the reader.
Personal Recommendation - This book follows in thefootsteps of others that attempt to condense the medicalundergraduate course into a single book – something that itachieves well given its primary aim of providing a text ofessential facts. If you are a clinical student looking to touch upon only the undergraduate essentials in a particular area then thisis the book for you. On the other hand if you aspire to more thanjust the basics then investing in a larger combined physiology andanatomy text may be required for the broader picture to beseen.
by Nicholas Sunderland, 5th Year Medical Student, OxfordUniversity Medical School Gazette