Clinical Anatomy Flash Cards

Author: Douglas J. Gould, Ph.D.

Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2007

2007; 350 flash cards, $36.95


Flash cards from one of the most used textbooks in medical school were a fantastic idea.Gould made reality a dream of many students, by applying this method to learn difficult concepts. I anticipate popularity in the use of this package among students during their first exposure to Gross Anatomy such as freshman medical, dental and physical therapy students. To enhance the effectiveness of these cards, the author included clinical correlation according to the card, taking the information from Moore’s Clinically Oriented Anatomy (COA).

The Flash Cards are divided into nine sections following the order of COA, leaving out the introductory chapter, beginning with the thorax and ending with the cranial nerves. The flash cards use figures from COA and from Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy, 11th Edition by Agur and Dalley.

The presentations are clean and not overloaded, and they are easy to remember. Unfortunately, the figures in each section do not follow the order of the figures in the textbook. This can be a negative point, since the drawings are not uniform. The organization/transition between cards is frequently awkward and out of sequence. I will mention a few negative facts that need to be revised to improve subsequent editions.

  • Needs consistency in card titles, for example:
  • Cards 6.31, 6.32, and 6.33 are titled “superficial forearm musculature,” “intermediate forearm musculature,” and “deep forearm musculature,” respectively, without mentioning “anterior” surface.
  • Compare the above with flash cards 6.50, and 6.51, which are correctly titled “superficial posterior forearm” and “deep posterior forearm musculature,” respectively.
  • Frequently the sequence of the cards can be confusing and not related at all, for example:
    • In the Thorax section, the author intends to teach the different views of the heart, but the sequence—1.29 - right atrium, 1.30- left ventricle, 1.31 -left atrium, 1.32: right ventricle—makes no anatomical or functional sense.

  • Also in the heart section, it would be useful to have a each diagram card followed by the related dissection card. Card 1.34 (diagram of anterior view) should be just before 1.36 (dissection-anterior view), and card 1.35 (diagram of posterior view) should be just before 1.37 (dissection-posterior view) so students can easily correlate one with the other.
  • In the Upper Limb section, there is some unrelated sequencing, such as: “Posterior view of the elbow,” then “dorsum of hand,” finger,” “arteries of the forearm,” and then several cards on “nerves of the forearm.” After 10 more cards, the author continues with more hand flash cards.
  • There should be an index/reference page correlating the flash card number with the figure number in the textbook/atlas.  This could be done in one or two additional cards.

Overall, the initiative is timely and useful for students studying Human Gross Anatomy for the first time.  One of my former medical student asked permission to look over this set and expressed regret at not having this during the course, since he had to do his own, and it was time consuming.  As is, it is useful, if you take each flash card individually, but it would be much more useful if you could use small sets with a related sequence and organization (e.g., views of the heart, musculature of the anterior forearm).  This is the first edition; therefore, the author has enough room for improvement to achieve a product with a purpose and a market.


Reviewer: Bertha C. Escobar-Poni, M.D., Associate Professor, Dept. of Pathology and Human Anatomy, Loma Linda University School of Medicine

Review Date: September 2007

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