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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

versão On-line ISSN 2078-5135
versão impressa ISSN 0256-9574

SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.103 no.2 Cape Town Fev. 2013




Atlas of Anatomy



Edited by Anne M Gilroy, Brian R MacPherson, Lawrence M Ross. 2nd edition. Pp. 672. Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc. 2012. ISBN: 978-1-60406-745-3.

There are currently many well-illustrated anatomy books available, competing in paper- and electronic-based media. This Atlas ranks with the best and offers something for all students of human anatomy. It is in an accessible, instructive and visually pleasing form, covers all regions and includes the basics of neuroanatomy.

The artwork is of very high quality, accurate in detail and does not overwhelm; on first view, the images demand one's attention. The musculoskeletal illustrations are outstanding. The Atlas is a pleasure to use, whether browsed page by page sequentially or accessed at random. Miniature graphics are liberally used to orientate the reader in the more complex or unfamiliar views. The illustrations offer realistic detail that is complemented in artistic style which students find useful in the dissection room.

There is a clear logic to the layout of each section that is intuitive and facilitates study. Those who were brought up on Grant's Atlas of Anatomy will recall the pithy schemata in the margins that summarised essential aspects and etched them into memory; this Atlas has optimised that device in a way that captures multiple critical concepts at a glance. An impressive feature is the manner in which the Atlas portrays clinically helpful ways of thinking about structure, onto which detail can be layered as required. Links with the schemata and illustrations in tabular form are included. All images are temporarily accessible for a fee on the publisher's website, which offers access to self-assessment exercises. Unfortunately, this fee will probably be beyond the reach of most South African students.

Many will want to keep this book as an outstanding reference and for its striking visual appeal. I strongly recommend it to students and practitioners alike.


Dr Charles Slater

Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town

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