What Sets This Book Apart

Those who have not used or reviewed previous editions will want to know how this book differs from others.


The sequence of chapters and placement of some topics in this book differ from others. While I felt it was risky to depart from tradition in my first edition, reviewer comments have overwhelmingly supported my intuition that these represent a more logical way of presenting the

Saladin: Anatomy & I Front Matter I Preface I I © The McGraw-Hill

Physiology: The Unity of Companies, 2003 Form and Function, Third Edition x Preface human A&P. Indeed, some have written that they are changing their teaching approach because of this book.


I treat the most basic concepts of heredity in chapter 4 rather than waiting, as most books do, until the last chapter. Students would be ill-prepared to understand color blindness, blood types, hemophilia, sex determination, and other topics if they didn't already know about such concepts as dominant and recessive alleles, sex chromosomes, and sex linkage.

Muscle Anatomy and Physiology

I treat gross anatomy of the muscular system (chapter 10) immediately after the skeletal system and joints in order to tie it closely to the structures on which the muscles act and to relate muscle actions to the terminology of joint movements. This is followed by muscle physiology and then neurophysiology so that these two topics can be closely integrated in their discussions of synapses, neuro-transmitters, and membrane potentials.

Nervous System Chapters

Many instructors cite the nervous system as the most difficult one for students to understand, and in many courses, it is presented in a hurry before the clock runs out on the first semester. Other A&P textbooks devote six chapters or more to this system. It is overwhelming to both the instructor and student to cover this much material at the end of the course. I present this system in five chapters, and notwithstanding my assignment of a separate chapter to the autonomic nervous system in this edition, this is still the most concise treatment of this system among the similar two-semester textbooks.

Urinary System

Most textbooks place the urinary system near the end because of its anatomical association with the reproductive system. I feel that its intimate physiological ties with the circulatory and respiratory systems are much more important than this anatomical issue. The respiratory and urinary systems collaborate to regulate the pH of the body fluids; the kidneys have more impact than any other organ on blood volume and pressure; and the principles of capillary fluid exchange should be fresh in the mind of a student studying glomerular filtration and tubular reabsorption. Except for an unavoidable detour to discuss the lymphatic and immune systems, I treat the respiratory and urinary systems as soon as possible after the circulatory system.

"Insight" Sidebars

Each chapter has from two to six special topic sidebars called Insights, listed by title and page number on the opening page of each chapter. These fall into three categories: 101 clinical applications, 13 on medical history, and 9 on evolutionary medicine. For a quick survey of their subject matter, see the lists under these three phrases in the index.

Clinical Applications

It is our primary task in A&P to teach the basic biology of the human body, not pathology. Yet students want to know the relevance of this biology—how it relates to their career aims. Furthermore, disease often gives us our most revealing window on the importance of normal structure and function. What could better serve than cystic fibrosis, for example, to drive home the importance of membrane ion pumps? What better than brittle bone disease to teach the importance of collagen in the osseous tissue? The great majority of Insight sidebars therefore deal with the clinical relevance of the basic biology. Clinical content has also been enhanced by the addition of a table for each organ system that describes common pathologies and page-references others.

Medical History

I found long ago that students especially enjoyed lectures in which I remarked on the personal dramas that enliven the history of medicine. Thus, I incorporated that approach into my writing as well, emulating something that is standard fare in introductory biology textbooks but has been largely absent from A&P textbooks. Reviews have shown that students elsewhere, like my own, especially like these stories. I have composed 13 historical and biographical vignettes to have an especially poignant or inspiring quality, give students a more humanistic perspective on the field they've chosen to study, and, I hope, to cultivate an appropriately thoughtful attitude toward the discipline. Historical remarks are also scattered through the general text.

Profiles of Marie Curie (p. 58), Rosalind Franklin (p. 132), and Charles Drew (p. 694) tell of the struggles and unkind ironies of their scientific careers. Some of my favorite historical sidebars are the accounts of William Beaumont's digestive experiments on "the man with a hole in his stomach" (p. 977); Crawford Long's pioneering surgical use of ether, until then known mainly as a party drug (p. 628); the radical alteration of Phineas Gage's personality by his brain injury (p. 538); and the testy relationship between the men who shared a Nobel Prize for the discovery of insulin, Frederick Banting and J. J. R. MacLeod (p. 671).

Evolutionary Medicine

The human body can never be fully appreciated without a sense of how and why it came to be as it is. Medical literature since the mid-1990s has shown increasing interest in "evolutionary medicine," but most A&P textbooks continue to disregard it. Chapter 1 briefly introduces the con

Saladin: Anatomy & I Front Matter I Preface I I © The McGraw-Hill

Physiology: The Unity of Companies, 2003 Form and Function, Third Edition cept of natural selection and how certain human adaptations relate to our biological past. Later chapters have nine Evolutionary Medicine insights and shorter evolutionary remarks in the main body of text. Students will find novel and intriguing ways of looking at such topics as mitochondria (p. 124), hair (p. 204), skeletal anatomy (p. 286), body odors (p. 595), the taste for sweets (p. 990), the nephron loop (p. 897), lactose intolerance (p. 970), menopause (p. 1060), and senescence (p. 1114).

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

Get My Free Ebook


    What sets a book apart from others?
    4 years ago

Post a comment