Description: This book, part of the At a Glance series which covers basic concepts of a discipline in an introductory, concise manner, presents major concepts in physiology in a shorthand fashion with little detail associated with each concept. This updates the first edition of 2005.
Purpose: The authors state that this book is intended as a "concise guide and revision aid to core topics in physiology." These objectives are effectively met. The authors acknowledge the limitations of the book since it contains few details and only superficial coverage of each topic, but it is effectively written as a review or introduction to the concepts.
Audience: Intended for student use, the book is useful for undergraduate allied health, premedical, and predental students as a quick introduction or review of concepts. The major drawback for these students would be the lack of detail. All students would need other material to provide the details underlying each concept. This book also may serve as a good review for advanced students who need a refresher. The authors are accomplished educators and have produced a very effective review.
Features: This systems-based review covers 60 major topics in physiology with approximately 6 to 10 topics per system. The introductory topics relate to homeostasis, fluid distribution, membrane structure, electrical properties, and the physics of blood flow. Each topic is covered in a two-page format with the first page containing figures and the second page containing the written description.
Assessment: The book, although limited in content, is well conceived and well written. It is a good review, but should not be used for detailed study in physiology. This edition corrects some mistakes found in the first edition and is therefore a useful update.