Author: Anne M. Gilroy, editor; Markus Voll and Karl Wesker, illustrators
Publisher: Thieme 2009
372pp., 350+ illustrations, $54.95
Students of anatomy love flash cards because they offer a portable and efficient means of managing, memorizing, and eventually learning the names of the immense number of structures that they are expected to master—and they will not be disappointed with this set. The illustrations are superb with a clarity rivaling the best atlases available. The cards are probably best used as an accompaniment to the Latin Nomenclature edition of the award-winning Atlas of Anatomy text due to the reduced size of these magnificent illustrations. However, depending upon one’s objectives, the cards could be used with any text or even stand-alone. In addition, students are granted access to the online resource “WinkingSkull.com” as a supplemental resource.
The cards are organized by region, allowing their use in either traditional discipline-based curricula or integrated organ systems-based curricula. The regions are demarcated by offset dividers that present a regional table of contents to facilitate the quick location of any particular card by number. The regional sections include Back, Thorax, Abdomen & Pelvis, Upper Limb, Lower Limb, Head & Neck, and Neuroanatomy. Within a region, there is a logical progression from skeletal anatomy to muscular anatomy to neurovascular anatomy to surface anatomy with radiological images interspersed. The front side of each card shows an image with numerically coded structures and an occasional study question encouraging students to self-test on the material. The back of the card reveals the key to the numerical codes, the answer to the study questions, notable comments, and clinical correlates. Each section may be removed and bound by the enclosed metal ring to increase the cards’ practicality.
The only shortcoming of the collection was the lack of a key code for the abbreviations and the presence of a few very minor inaccuracies, which are likely rooted in current controversies in the field. I had hoped that the set would include some information on Latin derivations, since some students lose sight of the meaningfulness of the names and resort to superficial memorization techniques rather than deductive reasoning. But these weaknesses do not detract from the primary goal of the cards to provide a convenient study tool.
The structure names are presented in their full-length Latin titles, which will undoubtedly dictate the audience of this product. Since anglicized versions of the atlas and flashcards have been published to target English-speaking students, one must presume that the Latin nomenclature set would be most appropriate in an international setting; however, the study questions, noteworthy comments, and clinical correlates are in English. Despite that unavoidable inconsistency, these cards would be appropriate for anyone undertaking the study of anatomy in which the complete Latin nomenclature is expected, whether aficionados of anatomical terminology and/or Latin, or perhaps enthusiasts for the history of anatomy.
Reviewer: Maria H. Czuzak, Ph.D.Anatomical Instructor, Dept. of Cell Biology & Anatomy, University of Arizona College of Medicine
Review Date: September 2009