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From The CriticsReviewer: Steven K. Hamick, BIS, RCP, RRT (William Beaumont Hospitals)
Description: In its eighth edition, this book continues the classic tradition of its predecessors as a highly informative yet concise primer and remains true to its roots of its original 1977 publication.
Purpose: This is meant to be an introductory book for respiratory physiology and for board exam reviews. Given the continual advances in medicine, revisions are occasionally needed and the author has met his objectives of providing an updated yet concise and lean introductory book.
Audience: It is intended as an introduction for medical and allied health students, and it serves well as a review for residents and fellows in pulmonary medicine, anesthesiology, and internal medicine. It should also be noted that this is one of the primary references used by the Michigan Society of Respiratory Care for its annual statewide respiratory care quiz bowl competition.
Features: Often referred to as the "gold standard" by many educators, the book consists of 10 chapters beginning with structure and function. With the architecture of the lung firmly in place, the book then progressively builds on respiratory physiology topics such as ventilation, perfusion, gas transport, blood flow and metabolism, etc. The final chapter covers tests of pulmonary function. Each chapter begins with a list of objectives and a paragraph overview. Nearly every page contains at least one descriptive simple line drawing or table to reinforce the material. The chapters end with a key concepts review and questions in USMLE format. Answers appear in one of two the appendixes; the other appendix contains symbols, units, and equations.
Assessment: This eighth edition continues the gold standard tradition of its predecessors. It is well written and well laid out. Dr. West takes the complex topic of respiratory physiology, breaks it down into its individual components, and writes the specifics in a very simple, easy to understand language. This is a must-have book not only for medical and respiratory care students but for university, college, and hospital libraries.