In the previous post I wrote about gross anatomy books. In this post, I’ll talk about the other subjects within anatomy, physiology and biochemistry.
Anatomy – Related Subjects
It is not very important in terms of weightage in exams but of most importance among these 4 sub-subjects. For those who want to understand things and derive the pleasure from learning, this is “the” science. More about this my another article – “From Cell to Man” (Sorry, unavailable)
The books are: IB Singh: This is most widely followed. It is a decent book, it has good diagrams and separation of matter into basic and advanced. Can be read.
Langman’s Medical Embryology: This is a great book. It’s strength is its diagrams and photos. If you are a visual learner then this is the book for you. As with other books, it has many details which are unnecessary for undergraduates which can be skipped. The text is very compact so could be a problem for those who can’t easily frame their own sentences but since only a few questions are asked in Embryology, this will be sufficient.
Another book is Keith Moore’s “The Developing Human” which looks similar to Langman’s. It’s author is the same scientist Keith Moore who discovered the Barr body along with Barr, Betram et al.
Histology is more important for practicals than for theory and diagrams are the most important. diFiore’s Atlas of Histology This can serve as both an atlas (for drawing in records) and also a textbook because the text is in sufficient detail. It’s quite a good book.
IB Singh This is followed by some as a textbook for histology. I don’t think that is necessary. I can’t comment on the book because I never used it.
Gunasegaran Don’t know much about this book. Saw it once and liked it. It is also both an atlas and text.
This is taught at the end of the year, it’s basically the anatomy of the brain, along with spinal cord.
Any book can be followed. IB Singh was a bit annoying for me because the matter isn’t properly organised. Chaurasia is not sufficient the teachers say. Vishram Singh is a good and widely followed one and would be enough for both a basic understanding and making it through the exams. AK Dutta is just too detailed. Snell’s Neuroanatomy is the recommended reference book.
Don’t ask me about it. I don’t even know the names of books in this. The weightage for exams is very less. It basically includes two things- chromosome basics and their disorder syndromes. The syndromes can also be found in Langman’s Embryology, the rest I managed from a few notes given by our teachers.
There are a lot of physiology books out there. I tried so many of them because never found one that is perfect.
This is the classic textbook followed widely throughout the world. It is known for it’s simple language yet good explaination of concepts. If you want to build concepts then this is for you.
It’s text is lucid and compact. It is very good for a few topics like nerve-muscle, cardiovascular etc but bad for some like endocrine. Sometimes the author strays off into way too much of molecular detail.
The Indian books are L Prakasam Reddy, Sembilingam, Chaudhari and AK Jain. I found LPR most suitable as it had good explanation plus facts for exams. So, I can say LPR is a little better than all of these. AK Jain was decent but I didn’t like it’s language. Sembilingam and Chaudhari had so many mistakes that I could hardly concentrate on what actually was the matter written.
Best & Taylor
This was highly recommended by our HOD as it apparently had a “theoretical” and “conceptual” approach towards physiology. I heard a lot of praise for the book and looked like just another textbook on reading one chapter :P. I searched all over the internet for an e-book but couldn’t find one, so a physical book would be necessary.
In the end I would recommend reading LPR as the main book but at the same time referring Guyton very very often.
I took this book in the starting because it was not as thick as the other books and didn’t find any problem till the end. The author is an MD from AIIMS (OMG! From AIIMS!!). I felt that he explains things very well though I didn’t see other Indian books to compare. The only drawback about this book may be it’s small and irregularly placed diagrams.
This is the popular book. I didn’t read it so I can’t comment much about the contents. Just saw it from friends and it looked good enough, but it thickness wasn’t very encouraging for me 😉
Chatterjea & Shinde
It is a detailed book but I think it would be more suitable for post-graduates rather than undergraduates.
The diagrams in this are beautiful. Almost everything has been presented in diagrams. This may be an advantage or disadvantage. After using this book for some time, I felt that I spent more time searching for things in the diagrams than actually learning anything. It looks very flashy and like they’ve done too much.
It is the standard reference book. Surprisingly, unlike other reference books, it is very student friendly. It also has many diagrams which are both good and minimalistic and not overdone like Lippincott’s. But in case of both these Western books, there are a few topics missing completely from these books but present in Indian books, which are asked in exams (eg. Chemistries of biomolecules, Biotransformation etc). So, these are best used only for reading metabolism and other major topics.
A Final Word
Do not be overwhelmed by such an enormous choice of books, just find one that suits you and read it. Different books may suit different people. Don’t think that if I choose the wrong book then I’ll learn nothing, because this is not a matter of choosing the right or wrong book but choosing the most suitable book. And don’t worry, your own experience will teach you much better than anything I’ve written.