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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Anatoly Bezkorovainy, JD, PhD (Rush Medical College of Rush University)
Description: This massive volume is a multiauthored textbook of biochemistry for medical students and other healthcare professionals.
Purpose: It is intended to be a teaching tool, rather than a reference book. It includes "clinical correlations," which are not case reports. They, for the most part, are presented in general terms as opposed to situations observed in individual patients with specific blood analyte levels, clinical symptoms, and signs and prognosis/outcomes. It is my opinion that the latter approaches are more valuable (e.g., as done by the Montgomery text). Nevertheless, this volume is a significant contribution to the field and joins a number of similar, well-illustrated, massive texts on the market.
Audience: The primary audience is medical students. One wonders, however, if the typical medical student would be capable of assimilating even a fraction of the material presented. On the other hand, there is not enough depth to be of much use for the graduate student. For example, the topic of enzymology, especially enzyme kinetics, although sufficient for the medical student, is inadequate for the graduate student. Each contributor has impeccable credentials. In this fourth edition, the authors have the opportunity to work out the "bugs" and optimize their chapters.
Features: The book is superbly illustrated, almost excessively so, with multiple colors serving useful pedagogic purposes. The bibliography is extensive, and for medical students, unnecessarily so. Tables of contents and indexes are excellent and useful. There are multiple-choice questions at the end of each chapter, with answers and explanations provided. There is an organic chemistry review section in the appendix. I was impressed with the extensive sections on human nutrition, which are so useful for medical students. I do not agree with the relegation of carbohydrate, lipid, amino acid, and purine/pyrimidine chemistries to the organic chemistry appendix. The typical organic chemistry course in college is hardly sufficient to understand these most important biochemical topics.
Assessment: The book creates a good impression, even though it might be overwhelming for the typical medical student. It should be on every library shelf.