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Preclinical Medicine


Anatomy


The Anatomy Coloring [sic] Book


Current Edition: 3rd Edition, June 2001
ISBN: 978-0805350869

The Anatomy Colouring Book (or 'coloring book', as our friends from the South Canadian Sea have spelt it on the cover) is not, as you might at first suspect, a novelty joke for medical students. In reality, it is a quite exceptional learning aid, that not only provides anatomical diagrams to label and colour-code to help you learn, but also is provides textbook-style support in its own right. The anatomy covered in the book is not only set up for you to colour and label to learn, but it also provides instruction as to the function, structure and relevance of the anatomy covered, and has an appendix detailing the spinal innervation of all skeletal muscles and a glossary of anatomical language.

It proves very popular, especially with first years, as it is not only helpful for learning but can be photocopied for revision, and is half-fun to do, as well. Everyone loves colouring in, right?


Conclusion: An excellent and fun aid to learning, that has added use given that it can be photocopied for multiple uses - perfect for learning anatomy that you may be struggling with. This is not one that can be borrowed from a library, for obvious reasons, but is reasonably priced, and can be shared between friends to economise since it can be photocopied. Surprisingly good for learning anatomy - probably because it directly engages the student instead of just making notes or reading.


User Opinions:
  • '10/10. We are wallpapering our flat with photocopies and arming ourselves with Crayolas.' (Becca-Sarah)
  • 'Good fun and useful - I've only used a bit, but my flatmate loved hers.' (Friar Chris)


Clinical Anatomy: Applied Anatomy for Students and Junior Doctors


Current Edition: 12th Edition, March 2010
ISBN: 978-1405186179

Detailed review wanted! Do you own a copy or have used this book in the past and can write a description for it? Please feel free!














Conclusion:


User Opinions:
  • 'Old school anatomy text book but extremely clear and concise in its concepts. Easy to understand and covers all aspects of pre-clinical and some aspects of clinical anatomy. Really good simple images to review as well.' (sohanshah)

Sample Pages:



































Clinically Orientated Anatomy by Moore and Dalley


Current Edition: 6th Revised Edition, February 2009
ISBN: 978-1605476520

I tried out a couple of other anatomy textbooks (mainly Gray's Student Edition and a bit of Snell) before settling on Moore and Agur. I should probably point out here that, whilst there are indeed differences between anatomy textbooks, these differences are less profound than you get between all of the different physiology texts for example. The key difference between this book and Gray's is the amount of imaging used. Gray's is full of gorgeous, full page computer generated images that blow everything up very clearly. The illustration in COA has a much more “hand drawn” and dissection-esque quality (apart from the photos in surface anatomy sections and the radiographs in clinical sections) and is generally less luxurious than Gray's. To give a fairly representative example; to illustrate the muscles of the posterior thigh- COA will have three or four 3”ish diagrams that show the insertions and origins and Gray's will throw a great big sexy full page piece at you. But remember this is all relative- all student anatomy textbooks contain an awful lot of pictures, but trying to dissect anything having only seen the picture in COA won't end all that well.

The trade off to less illustration is the writing. As a textbook, it is my opinion that COA is better written and organised than other anatomy textbooks. It contains more detailed explanation than Gray's in certain areas and as the title implies, there is a greater clinical focus. This may not matter to some medical schools during pre-clinical years, but it is essential at Nottingham or any other medical school whose 1st or 2nd year anatomy modules involve a clinical anatomy paper. The clinical focus is often implicit in the text, but is also spelt out the the “blue boxes” after every chapter which set out common problems associated with each region. The blue boxes are an interesting diversion, provide much needed context or are absolutely essential to learn, depending on the nature of the course an individual is on.

Conclusion:This book is for you if: you need/want more clinic focus from the get go, you learn better from text than images or you go to Nottingham (at the very least, you will need to revise the blue boxes to pass SF1)

This book may not be for you if: You are a very visual learner who needs lots of big drawings that they can copy out, or you need an atlas to use for dissection.

The ideal combination (in this reviewer's opinion) is this book as a main textbook, and then a copy of McMinn's or Gray's Atlas from the library whenever you need to get a firm grasp on an area for dissection.


User Opinions:
  • 'I suggest it for clinically applied, rather than gross dissection anatomy.'

Core Anatomy for Students Volumes 1, 2, and 3


Current Edition: 1st Edition, October 1995
ISBN: • Volume 1: 978-0702020407 • Volume 2: 978-0702020414 • Volume 3: 978-0702020421

Detailed review wanted! Do you own a copy or have used this book in the past and can write a description for it? Please feel free!














Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'Fairly good anatomy books - things go by at a million miles per hour but if you can follow the descriptions - you do learn from it. If anyone has bothered reading the introduction - it is also a colouring book - pretty much all the diagrams in mine have been coloured. Also - contains MCQs that come up in UCL exams. However, weak in description on the larynx and pelvic area - 7.5/10.' (Chimpyang)

Essential Clinical Anatomy


Current Edition: 2nd Revised Edition, April 2009
ISBN: 978-0443069529

Detailed review wanted! Do you own a copy or have used this book in the past and can write a description for it? Please feel free!














Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'Recommended book for Aberdeen anatomy. Don't buy it. The diagrams make you sit there with your head twisted 270 degrees trying to figure out what the hell you're looking at. 2/10' (Becca-Sarah, seconded by Digitalis)
  • Probably the only book you should buy in first year at Nottingham. The whole exam is based on this book. Word of advice I bought an old edition on eBay for £3 and it was fine so maybe don't waste £40. Definitely consider it if you're at notts. 10/10 (Hippokrates)

Gray's Anatomy for Students


Current Edition: 2nd Revised Edition, April 2009
ISBN: 978-0443069529

Gray's Anatomy for Students is is more than just the modern successor to the original Gray's Anatomy. The latest version was published in 2009 and is a refined textbook which explains and elaborates on functional anatomy in detail whilst visually presenting the anatomy in detailed computer-rendered drawings and diagrams in significant detail as well as correlating and integrating these with photographs of live models as well as numerous clinical imaging techniques including angiograms, Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and radiographs. Integrated with the anatomy are clinical notes and case studies that make use of the imaging techniques and relate them to the anatomy presented in the book.

The anatomy diagrams are drawn digitally from scratch and are exceptionally well drawn and the book is not lacking in any textual details or explanation of the functional anatomy though there are a few disadvantages on these accounts - the first being that since the diagrams are not drawn from cadaveric images, which some students feel is better; though this is a matter of opinion as the drawings in Gray's are usually considered excellent, it may be true that as a companion to dissection or prosection that other textbooks may be better suited. The second is that the compromise between the accompanying text describing and explaining the anatomy and the raw drawings themselves means that, though Gray's contains a lot of written information about the functional anatomy and clinical examples, the amount of raw anatomy drawings contained for reference usage is slightly reduced. This means that sometimes the use of a complementary atlas is necessary when one wants to view something in extreme fine detail or from a multitude of angles - some angles, sections and occasionally detailed labels are omitted from Gray's Anatomy for Students to make space for more textual explanation.


It also comes with 'StudentConsult' access - which means that, with a registration code (scratch-box protected - don't buy/return immediately if someone has already scratched it) you can also access the full text and most if not all of its images online, wherever you are so long as you have internet access.


Conclusion: It depends entirely what you're looking for. If you are looking to buy a good anatomy textbook that will show you the gross anatomy in clear, accurate detail whilst also providing you with a large amount of textual information on the functional component of the anatomy, Gray's for Students is a good all-rounder that will get you comfortably through the basics of anatomy across the board. On the other hand, if you're looking for a textbook with less focus on the explanation and with more diagrams and drawings, an atlas, or a companion to cadaveric work, then you probably don't want to get this. The key message? Gray's Anatomy for Students is a textbook aiming to explain it to you, not a pure atlas or dissection companion.

User Opinions:
  • 'This book has seen me through preclinical medicine and always proves useful for reading up on any relevant anatomy that may turn up on the wards.'
  • 'A good all-rounder that explains functional anatomy well, and though not the most comprehensive for pure anatomy, provides good quality drawings for most of the needs of a pre-clinical student - but not all.'

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Gray's Atlas of Anatomy


Current Edition: 1st Edition, August 2007
ISBN: 978-0443067211

Gray's Atlas of Anatomy is the pure anatomy companion to Gray's Anatomy for Student's. This volume is made by the same people who made the graphics for Gray's for Students, but is just pure anatomy without the textbook explanations. Gray's Atlas is cover to cover anatomical drawings, diagrams, photographs and medical imaging (MRI, CT, radiographs, endoscopy, colonoscopy and more), and does not compromise on any detail - since there is no balance between text and images, they put everything in. The content of Gray's Atlas is in the same style as the art that was made for for Gray's for Students, but is vastly re-drawn and expanded - providing dozens of new views and sections in far greater detail for just about every piece of anatomy additional to the basics covered in the Gray's for Students textbook. These massively expanded views of anatomy are also much more intensively cross-referenced with the included medical imaging, which is useful for reference when trying to make sense of medical imaging slides you are presented with to label in the course of your studies; which without exhaustive reference in many textbooks can be hard due to the natural variation in patients' anatomy.

The downside is that you pay for the glossy pages full of detailed anatomy. It's a damned fine Atlas, and in conjunction with Gray's Anatomy for Students you'll have just about any anatomy work comfortably covered in great detail, but the additional cost of the Atlas makes it something of a luxury. It's not a cadaveric atlas; it's an atlas of pure drawn anatomy - for pure anatomy reference it's virtually unparalleled, but it comes at a price and isn't a multi-purpose book.

Conclusion: The illustrations are stunning, the detail is massive and the range of angles, sections and medical imaging used to visualise anatomy from all perspectives are exceptional, but it's unlikely unless you're financially comfortable that you'll be able to afford it as well as a textbook. At the very least, if it's in your medical school's library it is an excellent book to borrow for use for anatomy assignments, your own research and for help integrating anatomy with clinical imaging techniques.


User Opinions:

  • 'Gray's Atlas of Anatomy is an excellent book. I was lucky enough to have parents who were willing to buy my textbooks for me during my first year, and along with some book vouchers made an investment in this book to complement my Gray's Anatomy for Students. Over the course of the first year it has been invaluable for studying anatomy and relating it to the clinical imagery we've been shown, and it more than fills the gaps that more generalised textbooks sometimes aren't detailed enough to cover. It's also quite a convenient weight and size considering its content, which means it can even be taken into medical school in your bag if you want it during the day.'


Sample Pages:
















Instant Anatomy


Current Edition: 4th Edition, March 2010
ISBN: 978-1405199612

Instant Anatomy is an almost pocket-sized, concise and to-the-point reference book and revision guide. Small, compact but covering virtually all significant anatomy quickly and precisely - this small book is a perfect quick-reference guide for any fact you need to find quickly or for revision - provided by concise text detailing the anatomy precisely, tables detailing those nuisance items that need memorising and schematic-style drawings and diagrams which quickly show layouts, significant relations and structure in a quick and clear way, instead of artistically like most anatomy textbooks.
Its reference value is well exemplified by some of the content - Instant Anatomy contains, for example, a chapter that simply details every muscle in the body in alphabetical order; their origins, insertions, actions, nerve supply and any relevant notes about close relations or clinical significance - this is a life-saver for revising for musculoskeletal modules or making notes if you don't want to trawl through full-sized textbooks and read every single detail about each muscle. Amongst many other things in instant anatomy, there are also similar chapters covering all joints, foramina et cetera in the body.


Conclusion: An excellent, small and quite well priced book for reference and revision for any level of medic - it is no nonsense and to-the-point, but concise and quick to understand, meaning it's ideal for first year anatomy just as much as keeping on hand to remind yourself of important anatomy for clinical work. It is not, however, a textbook to work from around the year; it is not intended to be such.

User Opinions:
  • 'A brilliant little book. Need to know what does what, where something is or what nerve supplies it? What pokey litle foramen that nerve goes through? What local anatomy is relevant to that artery? The route of that nerve? It's at your fingertips in moments. Small, light and quite cheap, very useful.'

Sample Pages:



McMinn's Clinical Atlas of Human Anatomy


Current Edition: 6th Edition, December 2007
ISBN: 978-0323036054

Detailed review wanted! Do you own a copy or have used this book in the past and can write a description for it? Please feel free!














Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'It's amazing. near 400 pages worth of cadaver pics useful for DR prep, OSPE prep and for your own personal curiosity too.' (I'm No Superman)
  • 'Yeah, McMinn's is good for revision - just cover up the labels and work around the pages trying to say what everything is yourself' (Helenia)

Netter's Atlas of Human Anatomy


Current Edition: 5th Edition, June 2010
ISBN: 978-1416059516

Detailed review wanted! Do you own a copy or have used this book in the past and can write a description for it? Please feel free!














Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'Very solid atlas. If you're someone who learns well by reading, then this - as an atlas - isn't for you: the only words are in the title of the plate (page) and the labels of the pictures. That said, anatomy is a very visual subject and I find browsing Netter's to be a really good way of digesting it. The pictures in Netter's are excellent: Frank Netter really understood how to present anatomy.' (Kinkerz)

Netter's Anatomy Flashcards


Current Edition: 3rd Edition, May 2010
ISBN: 978-1437716757

Detailed review wanted! Do you own a copy or have used this book in the past and can write a description for it? Please feel free!














Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'Awesome. Perfect for grabbing a region of flashcards, sticking them on the provided ring, and dumping in your handbag for opportunistic revision (and disgusting friends by showing diagrams of dissected penises in the pub). 8/10 ' (Becca-Sarah)

Cell Biology


Essential Cell Biology


Current Edition: 3rd Edition, April 2009
ISBN: 978-0815341307

Essential Cell Biology is a good all-round textbook for, as its name suggests, Cell Biology. It is well illustrated and highly informative, building from the ground up (or rather, perhaps from an A-level standard up) to a comprehensive understanding of cell biology that is detailed enough and far beyond what is required for pre-clinical medicine. ECB covers everything about cells from cell chemistry and metabolism to protein structure and function to naturally a plethora of cell structure and function, covering a vast amount of genetics and basic chemistry along the way.

On the other hand, ECB covers a rather narrow spectrum with its regards to usefulness. Whilst it is an excellent companion for learning cell and molecular biology (and some biochemistry and a smattering of physiology), it is a very specialised book which is not tailored to be a reference book, nor is it written with medical students in mind.

Conclusion: If you want to know anything about cells, the principles and cell biology of genetics or proteins, this is your book. An excellent companion to the molecular and cell biology of a medical course, brilliant for accompanying lectures and making notes on the topic, especially for those who didn't do A-level biology or did a course that wasn't heavy on human biology. It may not, however, be worth investing in since it is a good quality but hefty textbook with a matching price-tag; and isn't written with medicine specifically in mind and thus contains some redundant information for medical students - obviously the sections dealing with the biology of chloroplasts are not relevant! Perhaps a library-case.

User Opinions:
  • 'A very good textbook for learning cell biology; at Birmingham it was a brilliant companion to the MTM module in my first year of medical school (the lecturers gave page references for note-making and preparatory reading from this book) and aided my notes and revision greatly, as well as being good revision of the basics in degree-level detail. A bit expensive and not very multi-purpose, however; depending on your course and financial situation it may well be a much better idea to borrow it from the library if and when you need it.' (Friar Chris)
  • 'Useless until you get to iBSc year - if you do anything vaguely involving a cell - then it gets quite important, although the depth to which you need to know stuff means you've be trawling for reviews anyhow. Although the happiest textbook cover I've seen for a LONG time. Preclin = 2/10, Cell based iBSc = 6/10' (Chimpyang)


Histology


Wheater's Functional Histology


Current Edition: 5th Edition, March 2006
ISBN: 978-0443068508

This bad boy is a massive gloryfest of photomicroscopy. The printers must have bulk buyed the world's stock of photo paper to print this book! Coming in at 448 pages, it covers all of the histology that you will need for your entire life including a career in histopathology. An excellent book for what it sets out to do, not only does Wheater's cover the pure histology of just about every tissue in the body (if not all), but it also contextualises it - providing explanations of the related anatomy, endocrinology, cellular biology et cetera to clarify the histology it covers. In addition to this, whilst it contains no histopathology, it does elaborate on various pathologies relevant to the histology contained within the book.

Whilst it does not contain any histopathology, it is nevertheless very useful for medical students who have a lot of histology in their course and microanatomy spotters; with swathes of histology slides at varying magnifications, and all of these explained in pained detail.

Conclusion: If you have histology to do, this book is for you. It'll cover in detail just about any non-pathological histology you'll ever have to study and more in a way that the internet simply cannot come close to replicating. It's reasonably expensive, but its usefulness shouldn't be underestimated if you have anything involving histology to do - having your own copy is a lifesaver and, combined with anatomy and physiology textbooks, goes a long way to providing a full picture of something.


User Opinions:
  • 'Probably one of my most used books during my first year at Birmingham Medical School. Not only is it comprehensive for working with the bucket loads of slides I had to identify and then analyse the contents of in anatomy practicals throughout the course of the year, but it also explains the significance and relevant biology. Though the medical school uses Junqueira's Basic Histology for page references, I found my Wheater's compared favourably for actual content.' (Friar Chris)
  • 'Personally, I would not buy this book but more take it out of the library to loan because the amount of time that you will need to be learning histology in any detail is a small part of the medical course. Having this book means you can practically skive histology practicals and sessions.'

Pathology


BRS Pathology


Current Edition: 4th (International) Edition, June 2010
ISBN: 978-1451109061

Detailed review wanted! Do you own a copy or have used this book in the past and can write a description for it? Please feel free!














Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'I only bought this US published book a few months ago, when really I should have had it in second year. Kicking myself that I didn't discover it earlier! My flatmate also bought a copy since she liked it so much! Most pathology textbooks look like something that you would use as a murder weapon and I think that puts a lot of people off. This book covers the entire spectrum of pathology, only focusing on the useful details and uses a lot of real specimen pictures, which is also a plus. It avoids big blocks of text, instead focusing on short and easily remembered lines. It does go into a lot of obscure illnesses that I don't think we are expected to know, as it is aimed for USMLE prep but it does cover the important points. Note, this is a book purely on pathology, it does not cover any actual medicine on the topic. I use it pretty much every day to read up on unknown disease seen on the ward, as you can cover all the relevant points of an entire disease in just a few lines. Downsides could be that it is not detailed enough for a full PBL writeup or such. 8/10'
  • 'To add some contrast. I have this book and I regret spending money on it. You don't really gain much by reading it. Its focus is pretty much only morphological details. Pathogenesis, pathophysiology, mechanistic explanations, etc. are largely ignored. It's not very conceptual at all, consisting largely of bullet pointed facts. You get more useful pathology in any of the main clinical medicine textbooks, nevermind other pathology books. (Kinkerz)'

Sample Pages: Sample pages wanted! See the template for specifications

Rapid Review Pathology


Current Edition: 3rd (illustrated) Edition, April 2011
ISBN: 978-1451109061

Detailed review wanted! Do you own a copy or have used this book in the past and can write a description for it? Please feel free!














Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • This is a really good book. It is aimed at USMLE preparation and, as with BRS above, is aimed towards American students, and it's one of the most concise books I've ever used. It explains concepts well in very few words; you gain a lot by reading little. It doesn't seem like you have to read through swathes of text to find explanations. Everything is in nested bullet points so the information is very accessible. It's also very integrated: it's not a pure pathology book. Bits of biochemistry, physiology, etc. are thrown in to add to explanations. It's very conceptual. I really wish I'd discovered this earlier, actually. (Kinkerz)

Sample Pages: Sample pages wanted! See the template for specifications

General and Systematic Pathology


Current Edition: 5th Edition, May 2009
ISBN: 978-0443068881

Detailed review wanted! Do you own a copy or have used this book in the past and can write a description for it? Please feel free!














Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'I used this for my clinical pathology exams - I find it much more readable and less heavy (physically and academically!) than Robbins. ' (Helenia)

Sample Pages:





































Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease


Current Edition: 8th Edition, 2010
ISBN: 1416031219, 9781416031215

Detailed review wanted! Do you own a copy or have used this book in the past and can write a description for it? Please feel free!














Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • This has got to be up there with the top of all the pathology books. It has a solid account of most cases of pathology, giving decent descriptions of the morphological characteristics and explanations of the pathogenesis etc. I’m sure many people would say you don’t need the detail it provides and proceed to usher you towards the Robbins Basic version, which is fair enough. It does have a lot of material that won't be necessary for most medical school exams. However, if you would prefer a more complete understanding of pathology, this is the better book. (Kinkerz)



Robbins Basic Pathology


Current Edition: 8th Edition, May 2007
ISBN: 978-1416029731

Really good pathology book which goes up to postgraduate level detail. It's not as complete and detailed as the full Robbins, but it is certainly still more than enough for the average medical degree. Content is well split up and is easy to find. Whilst the book is detailed, it is written in simple and easily understandable language. Terminology is generally well explained. It is also possible to stop reading a topic when it becomes too detailed, yet still gaining a comprehensive understanding of the topic. The diagrams in the book aren't the most useful, but they do tend to explain material in depth. It should be noted that although there is some pathophysiology, the book does not aim to cover it extensively. More histopathology would also be welcome in the book.

Conclusion: Very useful pathology book covering both the basics and the detail of medical pathology. Useful for self-learning in PBL courses as well as for traditional courses. StudentConsult access in recent editions is a beneficial feature which means that the book can be accessed anywhere via the internet. An expensive book, but one which will last for the entire medical course.

Rang and Dales' Pharmacology


Current Edition: 7th Edition, March 2011
ISBN: 978-0702034718

A all-round high quality, high detail pharmacology textbook, Rang and Dale's covers pharmacology exhaustively and comprehensively everything that you'll need to know about pharmacology and much more besides in the forms of interesting snippits, clinical correlations and cases. This texbook does everything in intensive detail, from the basics of pharmacokinetics to advanced and specific drug metabolism. It is nicely illustrated with images and diagrams and well laid out, and contains a very large amount of well-detailed and well-written information, and will probably cover any and all pharmacology you are likely to encounter.

On the downside? Well, it can occasionally be heavy reading - it's written as a large and detailed textbook and can be wordy at times and it's not a small book either. Despite this, however, it is very well laid out with good artwork and well broken up by diagrams, tables and well-organised mini-sections. One may even stretch so far as to say it is a joy to read - despite its large and comprehensive nature, headings are very specific and can be used to quickly identify where the information you're looking for is. A particular highlight is how it's organised - instead of sections on drug types based on their chemistry, Rang and Dale's is instead organised by their function and the related clinical significance - exempli gratia the chapters on 'Obesity', or 'Anti-virals', or themes such as 'Addiction and Dependence'.

Conclusion: This textbook is an excellent companion for all and any pharmacology; not just for looking up individual examples but also learning the subject and understanding itself; building up in a well-laid out order that can be read from beginning to end - starting with pharmacology and metabolism and building up. It's also extremely attractively designed and written! On the downside, it's quite big and heavy (no not huge as textbooks go, but not really portable) and has a significant price-tag. Most definitely a must from the library, if not one to buy - it can come in very handy to own.

User Opinions:
  • 'Very very good for it, very wordy but you do understand what went on afterwards - although it's a library borrow rather than a purchase. 7/10' (Chimpyang)
  • 'It's very wordy and complicated, but I love it for it. It covers everything comprehensively, and one can pick it up and read from the beginning and it'll explain pharmacology to you from the ground up as a first year. It's quite heavy to read, but it's all in there if you have the patience to dedicate the time: 9/10.' (Friar Chris)
  • 'Can be too wordy in places and tends to overcomplicate matters sometimes, and has a bit of a weird layout. Though still highly recommended for its decent explanations. 8/10' (Democracy)

Sample Pages: Sample pages wanted! See the template for specifications

Integrated Pharmacology


Current Edition: 3rd Edition, May 2006
ISBN: 978-0323040808

Detailed review wanted! Do you own a copy or have used this book in the past and can write a description for it? Please feel free!














Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'I used this when Rang and Dale's was a bit too complicated, e.g. I found it easier to understand drug metabolism using this than RD. Can be a bit brief on some points and often doesn't go into much detail when dealing with mechanisms of action. 7/10' (Democracy)

Sample Pages: Sample pages wanted! See the template for specifications

Medical Pharmacology at a Glance


Current Edition: 6th Edition, April 2009
ISBN: 978-1405181976

Medical pharmacology at a glance is a unique condensed pharmacology book. This book digests a large core area of medicine and presents it concisely with logical simplicity. It covers each drug class over a double page spread. The first page covers the pharmacodynamics of all the drugs within in a class with a simple yet thorough diagram. The following text briefly covers the pharmacokinetics, side effects and clinical relevance of each drug.

This is an absolutely fantastic starting point when covering a drug or drug class, allowing you to grasp a basic overview of the drug and understand how it brings about its clinical effects. It then allows you to use a more detailed pharmacology book to fully understand its mechanisms, metabolism, excretion and side effects. Medical pharmacology at a glance is also a fantastic revision resource regardless of how you learn pharmacology this is an excellent universal pharmacology revision book. It allows consolidation and recall of a drug class with minimal effort, fantastic when you need a quick reminder without having to trawl through Rang and Dale.

Conclusion:This book makes pharmacology easy, each drug class is explained on a double page spread. Great for the basics and saves you having to trawl through Rang & Dale to get an overview. Overall this book is excellent either as a revision tool or as the alternative to Wikipedia for drugs. Regardless of whether you use if for revision or to aid initial learning it will not let you down.

User Opinions:
  • 'Once you've digested the Rang and Dale chapter - this is THE revision book. There is a lot of info crammed into each picture and is very useful once it comes to revision - covers all the necessary topics for UCL at least. Only loses 0.5 for only being in green or black false colour. 9.5/10' (Chimpyang)

Sample Pages: Sample pages wanted! See the template for specifications

Principles of Pharmacology: The Pathophysiologic Basis of Drug Therapy


Current Edition: 3rd Revised International Edition, June 2011
ISBN: 978-1451118056

Detailed review wanted! Do you own a copy or have used this book in the past and can write a description for it? Please feel free!














Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'I really love this pharmacology book. Very good explanations for most of the different strands of the subject, tending to focus on how pharmacology can alter pathophysiology. It gives a rich amount of detail (on par with, if not greater in many areas, than Rang and Dale), particularly in terms of explaining mechanisms of action. Having said that, the pharmacokinetic section isn't as well as explained as in Rang and Dale. I would use the two, personally, as this has a better layout and set of explanations for how drugs work, but Rang and Dale is better for the kinetics aspect.' (Kinkerz)

Sample Pages: Sample pages wanted! See the template for specifications

Basic Concepts in Pharmacology: A Student's Survival Guide


Current Edition: 3rd Edition, November 2005
ISBN: 978-0071458184

Revised and expanded review wanted! If you can edit this review to be in full prose and expand it and add a conclusion, please do.

Again, another American book. A5 sized, very readable. Written as if the author is speaking to you directly and follows a novel approach. Key concepts are boxed. If you understand the concept, you skip to the next box. Lets you fill your knowledge bit by bit, great for revision or just a textbook. The detail it goes into is clinically orientated, you will not find out how each drug works in terms of pharmacokinetics, uptake, receptor activity, but a more general overview. The author makes this very clear from the start.

The book starts right from the basics with pharmacokinetics, moving onto ANS and then dives into treatment of specific conditions e.g. heart failure, hypertension, diabetes etc. Very useful for PBLs/ward based drug reviews.

Downsides: Not as detailed as its main competitor, Rang and Dale. (However, it is clinically orientated and is marketed as a review book).

Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'Add your personal opinion here' (Your username)

Sample Pages: Sample pages wanted! See the template for specifications

Physiology


Human Reproduction at a Glance


Current Edition: 3rd Edition, November 2005
ISBN: 978-0071458184

Detailed review wanted! Do you own a copy or have used this book in the past and can write a description for it? Please feel free!














Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'Old edition - not that great - given how awesome the rest of the at a glance series generally is. Saving grace is the description of sex - which is so dry and awkward that it's quite funny. Newer edition have removed the references to 'objects' entering the vagina - going for 'penis' instead. 3/10' (Chimpyang)

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Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology


Current Edition: 12th Edition, July 2010
ISBN: 978-1416045748


















Conclusion: Overall a fantastic textbook which is a medic's best friend for covering the basic knowledge of most areas of medicine. However, in some fields, such as neuroscience and gastroenterology, it provides a very basic overview and you will need to bolster your knowledge with a neuroscience textbook or histology/gastroenterology textbook respectively. In other fields, especially the circulatory system, it provides excessive amounts of information which can be time consuming. In summary, probably one of the most useful medical textbooks, but needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

User Opinions:
  • 'A beast of a textbook. Will cover all the bases. 9/10' (Democracy)

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Human Physiology: The basis of medicine


Current Edition: 3rd Edition, January 2006
ISBN: 978-0198568780

Detailed review wanted! Do you own a copy or have used this book in the past and can write a description for it? Please feel free!














Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'Snorefest for me, the text is a little on the small side and the writing is a little dry, but explains the content really well - also bonus as it covers the ESR systems that UCL wants for 2nd year but in a drier, more technical way than the recommended textbook. 7/10' (Chimpyang)
  • 'Was the one UCL recommended, but I really like it. It has illustrations, good explanations etc etc. The only problem with it is the index. I've found myself like a couple of times, because when you look up a specific word and go to the page it tells you to, sometimes it's not even on that page... maybe I've been unlucky... I'd give it about 8/10.' (Jesssy!)

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Ganong's Review of Medical Physiology


Current Edition: 23rd Edition, September 2009
ISBN: 978-0071605670

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Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'This is, at first glance, a very good physiology textbook. But when you actually read the text, it feels like you don't really get anywhere; you have to read a lot to gain much in return. I tend to see it as a slightly more streamlined version of Guyton. It broadly has the necessary detail without appearing intimidating or 'too much', but can be 'low yield' and isn't as good at explaining as it might seem upon first glance.' (Kinkerz)

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Boron and Boulpaep: Medical Physiology


Current Edition: 2nd Edition, December 2008
ISBN: 978-1416031154

Review in progress of being written - Friar Chris.














Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'A true whale of a book, that covers a vast amount of physiology and probably weighs more than my 13-year-old sister. Covers just about everything, certainly sufficient for looking up pre-clinical physiology. Well written, quite comprehensive and detailed and nicely illustrated, it also provides some basics of anatomy and cell biology where it is needed to introduce and contextualise the physiology.' (Friar Chris)

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Clinical Medicine


General Medicine


Kumar and Clark's Clinical Medicine


Current Edition: 7th Edition, June 2009
ISBN: 978-0702029936

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Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'I have it, I hate it, but I don't like Davidsons any better... K&C just goes into crazy detail and it's far too big! 5/10' (Becca-Sarah)
  • 'The most hyped textbook of all time (well, at least at BL). I, like 90% of my year, rushed out to buy it in Freshers week. Since then, I used it for PBL for the first six months until I found better and easier sources and then it was a comfortable footrest under my table. This is a weighty tome. It has over 1100 pages and is no fun to carry around. The upsides: it has everything to do with internal medicine. No jokes. People revise for the MRCP using this book apparently. It has a LOT of text and a lot of rather innovative diagrams and artwork. Downsides: Huge blocks of texts. I can't be arsed reading through most of it. Not enough detail on certain topics that I came across. I believe the latest edition that I don't have is a little more bearable however. No speciality topics (paeds/o&g/ortho etc).'

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Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine


Current Edition: 7th Edition, February 2010
ISBN: 978-0199232178

'The bees' knees of medicine. Originally started as a set of handwritten notes, it has been passed down like gold through medicine to arrive at our hands, be they worthy or not.'

Jokes aside, this book has everything you need. I bought it in first year and quickly learnt that it had a magic "PBL In A Page". It has pathology, epidemiology, signs and symptoms, preventation, management and hints and tips on life which are actually quite thoughtful and not so cheesy!

Known affectionately as the cheese and onion, it is carried by many a clinical student (in fact, some people have been told they have to have on on them by their consultants) and really is top notch. Even comes in a tortoiseshell cover that is bodilyfluids-proof and a mini version for more comfort in pockets/handbags.

It perhaps doesn't give as much detail on the preclinical stuff as might be useful, but in general it is very useful nevertheless.

Conclusion: A brilliant all-round book, faithful companion to all during clinical years and both interesting and educational during pre-clinical years too, especially when presented with PBL and patient case-studies. Well priced, well respected and generally beloved, she's also bound in a damage and liquid-retardant plastic cover, in classic 'Cheese and Onion' colours.


User Opinions:
  • This gets raved about by virtually all medical students I've ever come across, be it in person or on here. It is very good, but I don't feel quite as strongly about it as most. It has a very cluttered layout (fitting a 700 page book into something you can comfortably carry around with you isn't easy) and there doesn't seem to be a systematic way of dealing with each topic; it feels inconsistent at times. It's reasonably priced and clearly contains a lot of useful and important information that you will be expected to know or learn, I just think the information could be made more 'user-friendly'. I have bought it and do not regret it in the slightest. (Kinkerz)

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Davidson's Essentials of Medicine


Current Edition: 1st Edition, February 2009
ISBN: 978-0702030017

When it comes to pocket textbooks, id est abridged versions of their daddy books, there are three really. Churchill's, Mini Kumar (Pocket Essentials of Clinical Medicine) or mini Davidson's.

Most people seem to buy mini Kumar, but I bought the mini Davidson's as soon as it was published. This is a fine book, complementing the OHCM well in my opinion by making up for the lack of explanation that the OHCM suffers from. A colourful, well illustrated book using lots of pictures, drawings, tables, flowcharts which I enjoy. The text is broken up into small paragraphs at a handy A5 page size. This is so important, as being bulletpointed and broken up means I remember more! Broken up into systems.

Highlights include: A clinical examination one page summary the beginning of each system is very useful. Includes dermatology, clinical pharmacology and prescribing inc. antibiotic use, data interpretation guides e.g. radiological interpretation and labs as well as a Finals OSCE preparation segment at the rear. Handy quick reference lab values on front and rear. Anti bodilyfluids spill tortoiseshell cover. Pretty much everything you want!

Downsides: Lacking in detail in some areas, for example wanting more treatment protocols, more findings on xray/labs etc. Davidson's style is not to everyone's taste. The publishers I think got a little confused as they are marketing it as a ward book as well (hence spill cover) but it is far too big for a pocket/bag really.

Conclusion needed

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Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine


Current Edition: 18th Edition, August 2011
ISBN: 978-0071748896

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Conclusion: Very expensive.

User Opinions:
  • 'Now this book was introduced to me by a finalist friend after moaning about Kumar and Clarke to him. Those who have been reading so far will notice I am not a fan of blocks of text but I break the mould with this one! Almost continuous prose but by God is it good! It has EVERYTHING. No jokes. Even an overview of the anatomy and physiology before each disease. Even the random rare diseases are done in detail here, a stark contrast to K&C. I have a two volume set, each with 1400 and 1100 pages respectively (the current edition is a single volume publication). Need a PBL done? Just look up the section in this book, job done. It really is brilliant, but even though it has a daunting size that crushes K&C, it is very readable and very understandable. I am told it is the most popular textbook in the US (they carry it around on the wards?!!!). Downside: Huge. Only a desk reference. Rather expensive. Continuous prose.' 8.5/10
  • 'If I'm ever struggling to find something - be it a pathophysiology mechanism, a clear definition or a piece of difficult-to-find clinical knowledge - I can invariably come to this and it will reveal itself. It's a very comprehensive book that gels together clinical medicine with basic science in a way that I haven't yet seen in any other textbook. However, providing this useful integration comes at a price: size! It is a very large book (or, depending which edition you use, two books!).' (Kinkerz)

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Tutorials in Differential Diagnosis


Current Edition: 4th Edition, July 2003
ISBN: 978-0443061578

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Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'I picked this book up in a charity shop for 2.99, brand new. Interesting type of book, it lists 33 symptoms like chest pain, weight loss, change in bowel habit, pleural effusion, vision loss, numbness and investigates the differential diagnoses culminating in a case for you to try out and an analysis. Very interesting take on teaching medicine, suited to a PBL style of learning. Also useful for clinical years as you can break down signs and symptoms into differentials and learn about each cause thereby developing your clinical reasoning. Downsides: Again, not very colourful. Continuous prose to read, which is no so good for absorption. A rather "sober" textbook. 7/10 '

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Churchill's Differential Diagnosis


Current Edition: 3rd Edition, September 2009
ISBN: 978-0702032226

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Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'Clinical years here seem to involve a lot of thinking "what else could this be?" and "how can I confirm my hypothesis?". Differential diagnosis seems to be a key strand. I imagine it's similar across most schools. This book, I feel, deals with these issues really well. It's structured in three sections (A, B and C). A is about clinical presentations (abdominal pain, syncope, haemoptysis, etc.); B is about biochemical presentations (hypercalcaemia, hyponatraemia, metabolic acidosis, etc.); and C is about haematological presentations (leucopenia, thrombocytopenia, leucocytosis, etc.). For each presentation it gives a list of conditions that cause it in a 'traffic light' system. If something commonly causes the presentation, it will be listed in green; if something less commonly causes the presentation, it will be listed in amber; and rarer causes are listed in red. It allows you to see the common causes whilst keeping an eye on less frequent but possibly urgent or dangerous causes. After the list it gives you things to look for in taking the history and doing the examination, and also important laboratory investigations/findings. I really like it.' (Kinkerz)

General Surgery


Surgical Recall


Current Edition: 6th Revised International Edition, June 2011
ISBN: 978-1451110869

An interesting book this, bought off ebay for about 2 quid. Very popular in the US (I read a lot of US blogs!) apparently for their surgical firms, which makes ours look like going to primary school again.

This book presents in A5 size a question and answer format for all the common questions that you may be asked when you are scrubbed and observing/assisting in a surgery. So, for example Appendectomy:

What is the Psoas sign? In acute appendicitis, what classicaly precedes vomiting?

It even provides a bookmark so you can cover up the answers whilst looking at the questions on the opposite side of the page! My flatmate who has just finished her junior surgical firm told me she used to read it on the bus in the morning having found out what operations were on the list for the next day so she could prepare. It is well thumbed so I guess she found it useful!

Interesting format, definitely not something to use as your core textbook, more brushing up for commonly asked questions, facts and figures.

Conclusion needed

User Opinions:
  • 'Your country needs you! Give TSR your opinion and help fight the enemy of not knowing what textbook to get. God Save the Queen. '

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Surgical Talk: Revision in Surgery


Current Edition: 2nd Revised Edition, February 2005
ISBN: 978-1860944949

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Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'If you're not a born surgeon, this book tells you everything you need to know for surgical finals.' (Helenia)

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Essential Surgery


Current Edition: 4th Edition, September 2007
ISBN: 978-0443103452

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Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'Not one of our recommended ones (we were told either Impey or " by ten teachers " but I much preferred this one - better colours and more readable.' (Helenia)
  • 'Really really good! Esp for GI block as it explains the diseases as well as the operative treatments. Plus tons of pretty bloody pictures. 8/10' (Becca-Sarah)

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Essential Orthopaedics and Trauma


Current Edition: 5th Edition, March 2009
ISBN: 978-0443067181

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Conclusion:

User Opinions:
'Wonderful, lots of really clear x-rays. And an obsession with cats - "the cat does not fracture its clavicle". Brill for Phase II musculoskeletal/ortho blocks. 8/10' (Becca-Sarah)

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Wards 101 Pocket: Clinician's Survival Guide


Current Edition: 2nd Edition, July 2008
ISBN: 978-1591032533

Another American book! Bought for the bargain price of 9.99 from Foyle's. Basically, it is a tiny, pocket-comfy reference book with every possible lab value you can imagine (5-NT level in blood?), rulers, treatment algorithms, how to write up histories, lists of system reviews questions, scoring/classification systems, flowcharts, system examination guides, even paediatric cuff size for intubation and defib settings based on age!

Basically, this tiny book packs a big 460 page punch. If you need to look up something practical, without explanation, this book will have it, hands down.

Downside: Since it is American and geared to American medical students/doctors, some of the units are different, treatment protocols are different etc etc. So always double check before you use any of it. But for the most part, things are the same and it is definitely worth a look.

Conclusion needed

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Clinical Examination


Oxford Handbook of Clinical Examination and Practical Skills


Current Edition: 1st Edition, May 2007
ISBN: 978-0198568384

After the runaway success of the Oxford Handbooks of Clinical Medicine (OCHM), many other OHs followed suite of varying quality. In my opinion, this is an average quality OH. It had rave reviews off Amazon that lead me to buy it. Essentialy, it tries to be the all encompassing guide to every practical skill and examination that you could ever need to perform. Unfortunately, it is rather clunky in its layout and over detailed, not suited to its intended format as a pocket handbook on the ward. The text, instead of being simple bullet points so you can quickly duck out behind a curtain and have a read, is blocks of text going into huge amounts of detail.

The detail is an advantage, but the book seems to jump from one examination to the other without much correlation. Things that really should have been grouped together under one examination are split up into many small ones, which means much page flicking and confusion. The data interpretation section is reasonably useful, but misses out on enough explanation on findings to be critical.

Conclusion: The diagrams of surface anatomy and how to examine are very useful, using clear pictures which I guess is a plus point against an otherwise disappointing and over-detailed approach. Our users report this to be a disappointing purchase.

User Opinions:
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Macleod's Clinical Examination


Current Edition: 12th Edition, June 2009
ISBN: 978-0443068485

This is a really good, detailed book for clinical examination but there are many issues with learning it from front to back. Most universities teach OSCEs using different techniques and steps and learning from this book often causes clashes. The book is often too detailed and time-consuming for OSCE practice due to its depth. For these reasons, it should be noted that this is not an ideal book to buy for OSCE learning.

However, if you want a book to learn clinical examination for hospitals and postgraduate learning, this is the book for you. It covers most examinations that would ever be needed and the accompanying DVD shows good techniques and skills in video format. Furthermore, there is a good overview of basic systematic anatomy and physiology at the beginning of each chapter. This is often followed by common pathologies. Chapters are well split up and organised. Figures are easy to follow and simple to understand whilst pathological diagrams are well illustrated. There's not much that this book misses, however improvements could be made with ease of use and relevancy to clinical examination.

Recent editions of this book include 'StudentConsult' access, making all the content available anywhere via internet access.

Conclusion: Not a very useful book for OSCE preparation, unless your medical school bases their OSCE on this book. But for clinical practice, it's really quite useful. The book explains things well, if in a little too much detail and the videos are really good revision material for OSCE technique and for hospital assessments. Regardless, a moderately expensive book which tries to cover a little bit of everything, and loses focus on clinical examination.

User Opinions:
  • 'The Aberdeen clinical skills exams are based on this baby (cos one of our ID consultants still edits it). Really good, lots of pictures of the signs, etc. 7/10' (Becca-Sarah)
  • 'UEA reccommend this book for clinical skills, although based on what I've used it for so far, I can't say I'm a massive fan. What I really wanted was a step by step guide of exactly what I need to know/do, and Macleod's has a bit too much detail. Plus, the different tests aren't in the same order as to what we've been taught. 4/10' (xXxBaby-BooxXx)


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Handbook of Clinical Skills


Current Edition: 1st Edition, March 2002
ISBN: 978-1874545576

Detailed review wanted! Do you own a copy or have used this book in the past and can write a description for it? Please feel free!














Conclusion:

User Opinions:
  • 'My current book for clinical skills. It is an old edition, A5 pocket size, turtleback cover that I bought for 2 pounds off an SHO. Still, these examinations don't change! What I love about this book is that it KEEPS IT REAL. Nice and simple. Tells me what I should do, what things look like when they go wrong, what I can expect to hear, how to write a history, examination, how to consent, Christ even what to say! The photographs of clear signs are very important in a clinical examination book, because you need to be able to spot these things in patients. I find it really useful that normal anatomy and physiology are BRIEFLY covered (i.e. in a paragraph) in a manner relevant to clinical examination skills, good to brush up on what is expected/normal and where landmarks are. Downsides: Could focus more on data interpretation to round off an excellent book. 9/10'

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Template Book


Current Edition: xth Edition, Month and Year of Publishing
ISBN: 13-digit ISBN

Text description goes here. Include overview, pros and cons - a descriptive review of the book.














Conclusion: To sum up in a manner unbiased the usefulness, quality, value for money and practicality of the book. Remember not to put too much personal opinion in; usefulness can differ with learning styles and depending on the course at different universities.

User Opinions:
  • 'Direct quotations from members giving the opinion on the publication. Here is this place for personal opinions and criticisms specific to the user. ' (Username of person quoted here)
  • ' ' ()


Sample Pages: [ Sample page images should go here. Ideally each image should be an individual page, not a two page spread, and a scan, not a photograph. Photographs may be acceptable if they are well lit and good quality. Sample pages should be scaled so that the height of the image is 300px and the width proportional to the height as per its original dimensions. If you have no software or expertise to do image editing, Friar Chris can sort them out and host them for you. ]


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