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Book review: Essentials of Medical Physiology 9th Edition

Dr Harry Brown reviews the Essentials of Medical Physiology 9th Edition, which is useful for medical students, as well as established healthcare professionals wanting to reacquaint and update their knowledge of physiology.

Essentials of Medical Physiology 9th Edition

Sembulingam and Prema Sembulingam

Published by JP Medical Publishers

Published December 2022

ISBN 978-93-5696-084-8

Price £71

This certainly is a blockbuster of an offering as it combines the main book – Essentials of Medical Physiology 9th Edition – with a separate book called a Review of Medical Physiology 4th edition. This is a collection of questions and answers and multiple-choice questions and essay suggestions. On its own it is a very good self-assessment tool created by the same authors of the main text. Also included are online video lectures and access is gained by a code in the inside front cover.

The main book Essentials of Medical Physiology 9th edition runs to 997 pages including the index and is clearly aimed at medical students. However, established healthcare professionals wanting to reacquaint and update their knowledge of physiology would also enjoy having access to this book. Some established healthcare professionals may have incomplete recollections of physiology relevant to their discipline and this book will bring them back up to date.

The book is well produced and deploys a liberal use of colour and uses a clear font which makes reading quite comfortable. The text is well broken up and easy to read but most important of all is the content and there is plenty here to satisfy a lot of people. Equally, there is a lot of interesting material that is relevant to clinical practice. For example, Chapter 83 on page 468, contains only 2 pages and they are facing each other, with the title of Pregnancy Tests. I found this chapter interesting, quick and easy to read and provided good background to clinical practice.

It seems to me to be fairly comprehensive and seems to cover all the common bases. As the title states this is a textbook of Medical Physiology and so clearly relates to front line clinical practice. There is certainly good correlation between the science and front-line clinical work and learning more about the physiology will provide a backbone to scientific clinical practice. Hence, it’s relevance to both undergraduates and postgraduates.

It is well written and covers a lot of territory and is highly relevant to its target audience and is rich in content. Overall, this is a high quality package which for just over £70 represents excellent value for two really good books and online learning videos. The complete package packs in a lot of learning and makes a really good reference and learning resource.

Dr Harry Brown is a retired GP, Leeds and Medical Editor of Pavilion Health Today


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