Top positive review
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The finest medical anatomy atlas available.
on June 29, 2000
Frank Netter's atlas compiles his paintings of every imaginable human body part, seen in various degrees of dissection, into one volume. Dr. Netter's talent for reproducing the facts of anatomy is exquisite and unquestionable. However, as one looks a little deeper, it becomes clear that Netter is in fact a guru of function as well. Nerves, outlined in an unearthly yellow, terminate on muscles they actually innervate. Tendinous insertions are always on the correct part of bony protuberances, and fiber direction is always carefully detailed. Any unusual functional variances, such as the dual sympathetic/parasympathetic function of Vidian's nerve, or such as the pulley effect on the trochlear nerve, are always painstakingly pointed out. Netter also excels in variation, presenting, for example, 11 normal variants of the cystic and hepatic ducts.
The alternatives are few and inadequate. Pernkopf is often cited as Netter's chief rival; his experimentation on living persons incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps forbids me from perusing his text, on ethical grounds. Grant's atlas is laughably inadequate by comparison, both in number and quality of the plates. And Gray's, the old standby, simply cannot measure up; Netter's bold colors and functional depictions are clearly superior.
Rohen and Yokochi, a photographic atlas, offers the advantage of being photographs of superb dissections, and therefore more like what one encounters in the anatomy lab. Some find it useful as a supplement to Netter's atlas. I also used Moore's textbook of anatomy; the plates, from Grant's atlas, are not so good, but the text can be used to expand and illuminate on the relevant plates in Netter's, and the text is well written and clear. I found it indispensible to read a little bit about what I was looking at, the night before an anatomy lab.
I have also lent my Netter to several artists (sculptors and painters,) all of whom found it to be quite useful.
If you have any interest in human anatomy, then, you need a copy of Netter today!