Description: This brief book of light micrographs [LMs] (plus 5-10% electron micrographs [EMs]) is intended as self-test/review of general histology for medical or dental students.
Purpose: It is intended as a study aid for students taking their first course in histology. There are very few books with this intended purpose, and as such these are worthy objectives. (There are a number of sites on the Internet that have picture tests associated with them.) Unfortunately, this book has many shortcomings and therefore only meet its stated objectives minimally.
Audience: The book is prepared for beginning histology students or as a review for those who may be preparing for board-type or licensing exams. Given the content of the book, this is an appropriate audience. The author is well known as the coauthor of a companion histology atlas, Wheater's Functional Histology: A Text and Colour Atlas, 4th edition, (W.B. Saunders, 2000)
Features: The book is divided into five papers, each of which has 24 LMs or EMs. The papers have no systematic or organizational theme; any one of them might have questions from any histology chapter or topic. Each micrograph has a set of five true/false questions associated with it. Some of the questions refer to letter Labels (e.g., X, Y, Z) on the micrographs. At the end of each paper, the author gives the correct answer and a short explanation. The micrographs appear to be the same ones used in Wheater's. Although most of the LMs are good quality, the vast majority have a slight pink, or blue, or neutral background wash and the focus on many is not as crisp as would be desirable.
Assessment: This book may be of interest to some students but, on balance, it has too many flaws to make it a high quality book for its stated purpose. The reasons are: many of the questions are based on being able to see much more detail than is visible in the magnification used; in my estimation, about 5 percent of the answers to the questions are incorrect; more than 20 percent of the questions can be answered without looking the micrograph associated with the question (they are general knowledge questions, not picture test questions). Students would be better advised to use their histology slides, textbooks, and atlases to learn the subject matter.