This is a rather long review of the 3rd Edition.
Netter's Atlas of Human Anatomy has been considered the standard against which other atlases are compared. It really needs no introduction, so i'll just speak of the pros and cons of this edition compared to other atlases as well as to previous editions.
---Pros compared to other Atlases---
1. Drawings are in vivid "unrealistic" colors. This is in contrast to Grant's atlas, which takes a more "life-like" color scheme. I call this a pro for Netter because it improves contrast and greatly helps in finding and remembering the location of structures. McMinn's is a photographic atlas of dissections, which is great for the lab, but does not nearly cover the content that Netter does. I also find photographs harder to study from.
2. This is first and foremost, an Atlas. There are about 600 pages crammed with drawings. There is virtually no text apart from the labels. The illustrations are generally better, clearer, larger, higher quality, and more plentiful (showing many sections of the same area) than other atlases.
3. Labels galore. Initially some pages may seem intimidating because of the enourmous amount of labelling, but once you get used to it- it's really much better than not enough labels (ie. Grant's). Example: Much easier to find "Pharyngeal Recess" in Netter than Grant's.
---Cons as compared to other Atlases---
1. Expensive. Well, you get what you pay for. It's also gotten more expensive lately for this 3rd edition, very unfortunate. ICON publishing may have raised the price after they took over from Novartis.
2. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to carry two anatomy books: one for text and one for pictures. Grant's is better in this regard as it has "just enough" text to explain the drawings. As I said above, Netter doesn't
---Compared to Previous Editions---
A couple things are new in this edition. And only a couple.
1. About 8 surface anatomy plates at the start of every section done by a different artist. They're okay. Clearly can't replace a dedicated surface anatomy book.
2. New Xray, CT, MRI, etc. plates showing normal radiographic appearance. They're okay I guess, but really useless if you have a dedicated radiology text/atlas, or even if you use some websites.
3. Some labels and drawings were corrected to reflect current knowledge. The index has been significantly improved and expanded.
4. New version 3.0 Interactive Atlas of Human Anatomy CDROM. Thank god. Finally they've left the medieval times and adopted 1024x768 res and higher quality pictures. Version 2.0 CD had an absurd and useless 640x480. This CDROM is now natively MAC/PC compatible, finally! (btw. Macs rock)
It comes in 3 formats:
1. Soft-cover only. ISBN 1929007116 ($68.95)
2. Student Combo ISBN 1929007159 ($99.95): Soft-cover + _STUDENT_ edition of v3.0 Interactive Atlas of Human Anatomy. There is a mistake on Amazon.com in this listing: The student-combo is NOT hardcover. I confirmed this with ICON Publishing and have reported it to Amazon.
3. Hard-cover + v3.0 Interactive Atlas of Human Anatomy ISBN 1929007213 ($129.95) I thought the Student CD-ROM would be a cut-down version of the full thing. It is NOT. The Student version is the full v3.0 PLUS 250 case-based USMLE style questions and Clinical Correlates. The CD-ROM is clearly improved over the previous versions, but owners of the book may not find any additional benefit as it is almost a straight rip from the book.
Please note. The hardcover and the CD-ROM are not available for individual purchase. They are only available in the 3 options listed above.
Owners of the 2nd edition won't find much new in this version. The hefty price is definately not worth an upgrade. However, for first time atlas buyers - this is clearly still the gold standard. I recommend buying the $99 Student Combo version w/ v3.0 Student CD-Rom if you can afford it (since you can't buy the CD-ROM separately later), otherwise go with the Atlas alone. The hard-cover is way too pricey for most students, and the exclusion of the USMLE questions further indicates that it's being marketed as a "Collectors Item" for graduates.