Book: Oxford Handbook of Medical Sciences
Edited by: Robert Wilkins, Simon Cross, Ian Megson, David Meredith
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Reviewer: Victoria Campbell (Medical Student)
The Oxford Handbook of Medical Science is one of many in a series of Oxford Handbooks.
This book concentrates on the basic medical science, knowledge that any medical student should have in order to be able to have a greater understanding of the workings of the human body. It is laid out in a very user friendly way starting with the general principles of cells and metabolism followed by individual chapters for the each of the body systems. In each of these chapters it goes through the anatomy, the function and briefly some of the general clinical problems associated with that system. Throughout the book it refers to another Oxford Handbook, The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine which will give you a more clinical description of the condition/disease but not necessarily the science behind it.
The text in this book is easy to read, using bullet points and tables. This makes it a useful aid when trying to figure out and/or remember the key points. To go deeper into the science you may need to supplement the book with one that goes into the pathways in more detail. Having said that, as I flicked through the book to different systems I was pleasantly surprised at the number of topics covered in each chapter and the detail it goes into.
There are greyscale diagrams throughout the book which are well executed and easy to follow. The front cover states that this book is ‘illustrated with clear diagrams and colour images.’ However, the only colour images are in the middle of the book, in the middle of the urinary systems chapter. The images do not relate to the urinary chapter and so would probably fit better within the text that they correspond to or at the back of the book.
Overall this is a worthwhile purchase for all pre-clinical medical students. It will not be one of those textbooks that stay on your bookshelf and rarely get looked at, it will be a textbook that you will carry around with you and use daily in all the modules that you study whilst at medical school.