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on 13 August 2009
This review is for the Second Edition (2009) of Gray's Anatomy, some of the reviews on here are for the First Edition. I've outlined the significant changes below.

A major change in the second edition is the first chapter. A lot of the material has been shifted from various chapters in the previous edition into a neatly organised introduction for the book. The new section, 'Body Systems', as the name suggests covers the skeletal, skin and fascia, muscular, cardiovascular, lymphatic and nervous system. Other changes include well placed 'In the Clinic' boxes that highlight relevant clinical data. There are many other changes and a general improvement in some of the artwork.

As an added bonus, registration with Student Consult gives you an electronic version of the book with a useful search tool and extras such as Image Library (download images for your own use), interactive self-assessment questions and animations amongst others.

Overall, the diagrams are of a high order (as is to be expected from Gray's Anatomy) and well labeled. The 'In the clinic' boxes put the material into a relevant context which are refreshing to read after memorising large chunks of anatomical information! The entire book has been well indexed by segragating topics into different regions. This is a worthwhile investment for any medical student.
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on 14 October 2009
This is by far the best educational textbook I have ever worked with. Our clinical anatomist claims its only use is as a door stop, however in a matter of weeks (and some considerable effort) Grays Anatomy for students (2009)has provided a deep appreciation and understanding of the sectional anatomy we have covered. It covers every angle, the theory, the visual and the clinical. I find its level of explination perfect, not to simplified, not too deep.

When I am studying I have a medical dictionary at hand, I use this to translate the latin/greek into English, I find this helpfull in searing things to memory. It would be very helpfull if Grays did this, maybe in the header of the page, e.g. Brachial [Arm] or Cubital [Armpit].

Grey also has another weakness, I am privelaged enough to be partaking in Full Human Dissection at my medical school. The imagery in Greys is excellent for learning concepts and to gain an understanding, however (in general)it in no way relates to how it really looks in the body. All images (except x-ray's etc and the very few dissection picture)are just schematic.

It is essential to have a good Human Atlas of anatomy to work alongside Grays. McMinns is the IDEAL textbook for this.

Grays is an ESSENTIAL textbook for anyone learning human anatomy. It has its weaknesses, but these are usually on the outskirts of Grays mission objective, Grays focuses on enabling an understanding and theory longside a schematic visual appreciation. This it does better than any other book.

NOTE: there are various Grays anatomy, this is the one for students, this contains the level of understanding required, the bigger Greys anatomy are the bibles for Clinical anatomists. You will do yourself NO FAVOURS in getting this, even if you tell yourself you want to know more than the other students, or that you want to know everything. Get this version, i.e. FOR STUDENTS.

CONSULT ONLINE : I found this essentially useless, firstly it only lasts 12 months. Its free with the book, but I see it as no more than a gimmick. I guess if your without your Grays available to you (for some bizzare reason) and you want to see/read a page, then you can see a simplified version of the textbook. I really think its a Gimmick. When a LEGAL version of this is available for download (i.e. you could have Grays on your computer offline) then I would be interested. Its also all done via a website format, links going to chapters, then clicking through each page. It really hasnt had much thought. Also it is very slow and I found it to be VERY tempromental. I would NEVER rely on it.

Overall a VERY VERY VERY good textbook. Wish I could contribute to its editing and make it perfect by providing just a tiny little bit more information, for example basic terminology translations etc.

If you are studying Medicine or Human Anatomy, you NEED this book.
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on 8 May 2011
To learn anatomy there is no better tool out there than Grays Anatomy for Students. It's greatest strength, as emphasised by anyone and everyone are the quality of the illustrations. It is truly unmatched in this regard by any other book - the schematics really allow you to visualise the structures before seeing them in reality (you may need to purchase an Atlas as a supplement to assist in this regard - I personally use the fantastic "Color Atlas of Anatomy by Rohen, Rokochi and Drecoll").
I found the text to be of an appropriate detail though occasionally overburdening in terms of volume of reading. The text highlighted in green represents information of clinical relevance which focuses and contextualises your learning and makes a change from having to read straight anatomy!
Whilst it may be daunting to see the size of the textbook - Moore & Agur Essential Clinical Anatomy seems half the size for what is essentially the same information, I would go for Grays as it presents information in a more readable format. This point can't be emphasised enough till you've used something else to really appreciate just how great the focussed region by region learning style of Grays really is. Occasionally it can be a little frustrating but it's a trade off rather than having information about lots of different structures thrown into a paragraph e.g. about the thorax which one cannot fully understand till they've read the chapter fully.
You'll usually find the surface anatomy is sufficient though I often tended to use another text out of habit than anything else.
All in all, this is a truly fantastic book that you can't really go wrong with. The different textbooks have different styles so it's a case of finding what suits you, but I would imagine this suits most!
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on 9 June 2011
At the beginning of the Anatomy and Morphology course, we were suggested not to buy this book since it was said to be completely useless or, at least, 10% of what was required to know.

Far from being completely wrong, it turned out that this book was an excellent buy for one part of the anatomy exam in my university, namely topographical anatomy. It contains basically all that is needed to know in order to get that part of the course done. I actually studied topography only on these one, except for a few parts about muscles classifications, a few more detailed parts of the splanchnocranium and paravertebral chains.

First of all, it des NOT contain neuroanatomy. It passes through the topographical anatomy of the cranium, cranial nerves with their courses, the main nerves passing through and around the skull, bones and muscles of head and neck region. It also describes the eye and the ear, but do not expect fascicles, brain structures or brainstem.

For each body region, e.g. the thorax, it passes through surface anatomy (few pages each), division of the internal spaces, the organs, their internal structures, muscles with fasciae, vascularization (lymphatics included), innervation and how to locate structures from body landmarks. Every section has tables and summaries for every mnemonic aspect (e.g. muscles are listed accordingly to their position, compartment and layer, and the origins, the attachments, actions and innervations are provided very clearly; the same is true for nerves and plexuses, cranial foramina, the main vascular trees and so on).

The images are absolutely AMAZING. In fact, in addition to this book there is another product, called Gray's for Students Frash Cards, that actually contains all them without the names of the encompassed structures; the student has to practice pointing and naming them out and then verify the answers with the solutions on the other side of the card. There are also a few images of the development of a few systems that gave me some hints about the embryology (much better than some images on my embryology book itself).

Compared to the Gray's, it is no use for a doctor or for whoever else is seeking the very detail. It is the most saving-time book I ever came across and thanks to it I managed to pass the final exam really yesterday, more than 1 month earlier than most of my colleagues. Another one giving the exam with me yesterday also used this book following my advice. It is like having the Big Gray's, without the too deep details you are not gonna be asked as a first- or second-year student, with the most appreciable quality of synthesis and clearness.

As I said, it is not supposed to be a hand-companion for surgeons. It is only a sort of summary of the Gray's for people approaching the first anatomy examination. Yet it contains lots of useful clinical correlation in small and concise boxes, useful to fix a few fact in the memory and link them to a practical use; but none of true pathology is present.

In addition, it obviously does not contain any info about hystology, biology or the like. A few info are sparse around, but do not contitute anything usable.

At the end, if you are thinking about beginning studying from the Big Gray's, you have my respect and my admiration. However, keep in mind that it would be like studying italian for the very first time by studying the Divine Comedy. You can do it, but you will lose 90% of your time learning and memorizing stuff you will not use until 5-6th year and you will ruin yourself down in the process that would require other approaches. My idea is that this book is the real go during study, and the Big Gray's must be present at hand for whenever you need something deeper (they have more or less the same organization and structure, in fact).
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on 12 June 2013
+ Effective learning tool
+ Appropriate depth for 1st & 2nd year medicine
+ A lot of text complementing the clear illustrations
+ Case studies at the end of chapters were useful and helpful

- Not great for neuroanatomy; requires a dedicated textbook
- Text goes a bit too far at times, in places coming close to spam
- While depth was appropriate, it wasn't not as effective for revision. One may do well investing in something like Gray's Flash Cards with this purpose in mind
- Buying brand-new can get quite expensive

Conclusion: Doesn't really matter which text book you end up with so long as you pick one and start studying. You could do worse than Gray's but at the same time it falls short of being a complete student companion.
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on 13 November 2009
A good book with good pictures. I really like the website as it has a reproduction of the book complete with the images.

However, the books are pretty flimsy (particularly the covers) and the website logs you out after 15 minutes or so inactivity which is maddening!
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on 27 August 2013
Gray's Anatomy is always rated as the anatomy book for both students and practising physicians. After reviewing this book I can definitely see why it has the remarkable reputation that it has.

The book contains everything you need to know about anatomy in a detail that is neither too difficult to understand nor too overwhelming in terms of the size of the content.

The layout of the book is very easy to use and read. The pictures and photographs are of great quality and most are of a very good size. This leads to the fact that the book isn't too "wordy" which I feel is what an anatomy book needs.

Throughout the book there is also use of tables which are good for quick reference. In addition to this there are highlighted key points which enable students/doctors to quickly refer to the book for information.

The clinical cases "In the Clinic" are a fantastic way of seeing the information put into practice and are excellent for exam preparation.
The only issue's that some may have with the book are its size and its price. However, once seeing how much content the book covers and how it really is the only anatomy book needed for study, then these issues don't appear so bad! Also, the book has student consult which means that the book doesn't need to be carried with you wherever you go. Within the student consult, there is an embryology and anatomy crash course, which I found extremely useful to go through.

(Ruth Jarvis, Elsevier Student Rep)
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on 13 December 2012
What is there to say about Gray's Anatomy that hasn't been said already?

This textbook was written with the plight of the medical student in mind. The medical student is expected to process, understand, recall and link an ever-increasing amount of information in an ever-decreasing amount of time. The normal edition of Gray's anatomy can be purchased, but serves no use in those critical first 5 years. The point of the students' edition is to present the exact amount of anatomy that a student needs in an easy to understand way.

There are 8 chapters. They are "Introduction", "Back", "Thorax", "Abdomen", "Pelvis and Perineum", "Lower Limb", "Upper Limb" and "Head and Neck." Each chapter, apart from the Introduction, is divided into 4 sections. The first is the "Conceptual Overview." This section gives the general outline of each region, how it is related to other regions, and general functions of that region. The second section is where the actual anatomy is discussed. The third section is "Surface Anatomy" and discusses how different anatomical structures can be observed on the skin. This section is of vital importance in the clinic. The last section feels is something that definitely needs improving. It gives clinical cases, but not enough of them and many of the most commonly seen ones are left out, whilst rarer conditions are included.

The "in the Clinic" boxes scattered throughout the book are mostly useful and don't feel like an afterthought but, there is one textbook that has far superior clinical correlations than any anatomy textbook, namely, Moore's "Clinically Oriented Anatomy." However, Moore's textbook goes into too much detail, way more than any medical student will ever need. Once you finish a section or Chapter in Gray's, it is highly recommended that you give the Clinical sections of Moore's a look too to really solidify your anatomical knowledge.

All in all, one of the best anatomy textbooks money can buy. It has a few problems, but no textbook is perfect. This plus Netter's Atlas plus Moore's Clinically oriented anatomy would be the ideal combination of books to study anatomy.
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on 12 March 2012
After an unbereable amount of effert to try to study on the Standard (ie not Student) edition of the Gray, my will of becoing a doctor started vacillating.
This book is some kind of med students Graal.
Anatomy is difficoult and it's a lot of stuff, this book doesn't cancel that fact.
It simply gives you information in a well organized, highly usable manner.
On the Standard (absolutely non-pedagogical, in my opinion not even meant to be completely read by anybody) edition, the things you need to know are sunk in literally an ocean of useless detail (no med student is supposed to learn every anatomical variation of the common bile duct, the inches AND centimeters lenght/width of the pelvic brim by ethnic group or 3 pages (THREE PAGES) about the clavicle, with main location of nutritive foramina), here you get what you need to know.
Buying this book game me back the wonder of studying anatomy and the joy of being a med student.
It is not going to make anatomy idiot-proof and you won't be able to study it in one week, but you will be able to learn the think.

Mine hasn't had this problem, but some other guys in my class found it easily destroyable, I think is mainly a matter of how you treat it and hom much time it takes for you to learn anatomy.
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VINE VOICEon 12 October 2011
This is a massive tome with magnificent illustrations. Not very transportable but excellent for both study and reference for the student and practitioner. This is the Bible of medics and deservingly so. Excellent in every respect.
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