High-Yield Gross Anatomy, 3rd Edition

Author: Ronald W. Dudek & Thomas M. Louis

Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2007

2007; 324 pages, indexed; $26.95


Think back to your days as an anatomy student. You were probably feeling excited, anxious, apprehensive, or a myriad disparate emotions on your first day. I felt intimidated. And despite having great professors leading me through the subject, I found that my challenge with anatomy was to learn the best method for processing the information.

Through the first month of anatomy, I went through several textbooks and used different atlases to find the resources that best matched my learning style. When these decisions were made, I still had a difficult time discerning what information should form the building blocks of my knowledge and what facts were ancillary, to be learned after I digested the main concepts. Like many beginning students, I was overwhelmed with approximately 5,000 new anatomical terms and textbooks that boasted 1,000+ pages. Luckily, I stumbled upon a review text that placed information succinctly in outline form. This book still sits beside my office desk and it is well-loved, i.e., falling apart from extensive use.

High-Yield Gross Anatomy (3rd ed.) gives quick summaries of key information and offers essential clinical information that is especially helpful for second-year medical students studying for Step 1 of the USMLE Board Examinations; however, all medical and graduate students with an interest in anatomy will benefit from the bookRonald Dudek has composed a number of these concise texts and has been a regular contributor to the High-Yield and Board Review Series books published by LWW.

This edition of High-Yield Gross Anatomy has more clinical vignettes, includes new chapters, and receives contributions from a new co-author, Thomas Louis. I particularly enjoyed the: 1) well-organized tables that summarize a large amount of information in a small space (e.g., nerve lesions of the upper and lower limbs), 2) Clinical Considerations sections that focus on the relevance of the underlying anatomy, 3) radiographs with diagrammatic representation (e.g., Figure 18-6), 4) the wealth of diagnostic images, and 5) a comprehensive table of contents and index enabling quick access to information.

Ways to improve the text would include the: 1) layout of the images (e.g., pages 77-80), which often leaves some images too small with excessive blank spaces, 2) composition of more concise case studies, and 3) inclusion of a supplemental Web site where students could access sample USMLE questions, additional case studies, basic anatomical figures, and full-size diagnostic images.

This text excels at focusing students on core concepts and their clinical significance, and it provides a strong foundation on which their anatomical knowledge can be built. With large amounts of pertinent information assembled in a concise, well-organized text, students will want to keep High-Yield Gross Anatomy handy. In fact, the new edition now sits on my desk, and it may replace my well-traveled review book from my graduate school days.

Reviewer: H. Wayne Lambert, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, University of Louisville School of Medicine

Review Date: September 2007

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