Title: Visual Anatomy & Physiology
Authors: Frederic H Martini and William C Ober
Publisher: Benjamin Cummings
Reviewer: Allison Crocker, theatre practitioner, Poole General Hospital
What was it like?
Although superficially similar to the many anatomy and physiology text books available currently this book takes a refreshingly different approach that may prove useful when learning. As stated in the title there is a greater emphasis on the visual content within the book although there is more than sufficient written content to satisfy those that pick this book up. The book is full of full colour diagrams as well as appropriate colour photographs that are annotated clearly as all the systems of the body are detailed in turn. The use of diagrams extends beyond the obvious, such as drawings of organs or bones, to those subjects that are often covered by the use of equations or written descriptions, e.g. the informative chapters on metabolism and fluid, electrolyte, acid-base balance.
What were the highlights?
Personally I found the diagrams on acid-base balance to be extremely enlightening and believe that these would have made my physiology studies far easier.
Strengths & weaknesses:
The strength of this book is its wide range of coverage in a graphical format. If you are someone who has a more visual style of learning then this is the book for you. No real weaknesses could be examined although the book is of the large, reference type that would be more likely to remain in a library than be carried round.
Who should read it?
It would be simple to write this book off as simply for the pre-registration student on an introductory anatomy and physiology course. However this would be to ignore the enduring usefulness of such a book over the career of any practitioner. The emphasis on visual presentation of the content will suit those with a visual learning style.