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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jennifer Forsyth, M.D.(City of St. Louis)
Description: This is a great primer for the uninitiated in forensic medicine. It is arranged in logical chapters with excellent photographs to illustrate basic principles.
Purpose: The purpose is to introduce general aspects of forensic medicine to those unfamiliar with the topic. It is written for both physicians who have not been exposed to forensic medicine and those in the legal, law enforcement, and criminalistics professions. Numerous books have been written on this very worthwhile topic. The authors do a good job of illustrating the points with exceptionally high-quality photographs.
Audience: The audience could include a wide variety of specialists ranging from attorneys to law enforcement practitioners to other physicians. The book is well written with just enough technical language to introduce readers to general principles without overwhelming those whose interest is merely peripheral to the study of forensic medicine.
Features: The book covers most of the general topics in forensic medicine. The vast majority of the book is about injury definition, documentation, and interpretation, which are well covered with some of the best photographs I have seen in an introductory book. A few chapters on toxicology highlight important facts, and this is appropriate for this level of training. The introductory chapters on ethics and the legal system are the least pertinent, as the authors state that they would like this book to provide the basics of forensic medicine across jurisdictions.
Assessment: This is a great introduction to forensic medicine from the standpoint of the forensic pathologist. The text is clear and concise and the photos are excellent. This is one of the better introductory books available.