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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Patricia Wong, MD (Stanford University Medical Center)
Description: Frank Netter's classic medical illustrations for the skin have been updated in this second edition with new illustrations by five medical illustrators carrying on his tradition of pictorial medical education. This volume in the collection has very nice drawings of skin physiology and histology. The clinical sections cover various skin diseases grouped under broad categories such as rashes, growths, blistering diseases, infection, etc. On the left side of each page is an excellent discussion of a particular disease and on the right side of the same page are colorful diagrams and drawings outlining the disease process and its presentation. The book is beautifully illustrated and one could easily just study the illustrations and read the text for supplemental information to fill in details.
Purpose: The purpose is to use illustrations in an effective educational way to enhance learning and make it easier to grasp complex medical concepts.
Audience: The audience is everyone in the medical field: physicians, medical students, etc.
Features: The book is very current and even discusses autoinflammatory syndromes, which were not well characterized during Netter's life. The illustrations I found most useful are those accompanying the discussions of basic integumentary structure, function, and physiology. Despite the talents of the illustrators, looking at actual clinical photographs of skin diseases rather than their drawings is much more informative.
Assessment: The strength of this book lies in its organization and clarity. It would be a valuable study aid for learning the salient points about a disease and the current pathophysiology. The illustrations help readers digest and visualize the information in a more lasting fashion. The Fitzpatrick or Bolognia tomes (Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine, 8th edition, Goldsmith et al. (McGraw-Hill, 2012); Dermatology, 3rd edition, Bolognia et al. (Elsevier, 2012)) are still the gold standard when it comes to learning how to recognize clinical presentations. Although I believe everyone can benefit from this book, it is written at an advanced level and is not a beginning dermatology book. I personally like that orientation. It immediately addresses the important points about the diseases and does not waste time on repeating fundamental concepts.