When it comes to learning about anatomy there are dozens and dozens of books available in schools and online, however not all books are created equal and weeding through all of the books to find the best anatomy books for learning and reference can be time consuming and frustrating.
To make things a bit easier we’ve searched through dozens of anatomy books to bring you what we think are some of the best books around for medical students.
Some of the books are best sellers while others are popular, easy to read books that have gotten a lot of great feedback.
In any case these anatomy books should provide you with great reference material and make it easier for you to learn anatomy.
1. Atlas of Human Anatomy
The Atlas of Human Anatomy book provides a clear and comprehensive view of the human anatomy from a clinical perspective in a coherent visual vocabulary. This book contains hundreds of delicate and precise hand-painted drawings of the human anatomy by medical illustrator Frank H. Netter, MD.
His illustrations help clarify, simplify and articulate the human anatomy in a fun and easy to learn way. Atlas of Human Anatomy is an excellent book for anyone who is taking medial classes that needs a comprehensive and detailed understanding of the human anatomy in a visual manor.
2. Anatomy and Physiology For Dummies
The for dummies series does an excellent job of taking complicated subjects and breaking them down into a simple, easy to understand format.
Anatomy & Physiology for Dummies is a great introductory book into the realm of science and is a great companion for students who are just starting out in Anatomy & Physiology 101 or another beginner course.
This book provides an overview of the facts and concepts presented in anatomy and physiology and helps students understand the complexities of the three main organ systems that make up the majority of the human body.
The book also explores topics such as the circulatory, digestive, endocrine, immune and respiratory systems. If you’re just starting out in anatomy and physiology and you want a good companion book to help you grasp the concepts of the human body and how it works Anatomy & Physiology for Dummies is a good start.
3. Color Atlas of Anatomy
Color Atlas of Anatomy goes beyond providing illustrations and drawings of the human anatomy by providing readers with actual photographic images of the human body through actual cadaver dissections.
The use of real cadavers ensures that students will be provided with some of the most realistic images of the human body and all its layers through detailed and easy to understand photographs.
In addition to the use of real life photographs this book also contains schematic drawings, illustrations and diagnostic images (including MRI scans, CT scans and endoscopic techniques) to provide additional medical information and maximize the students comprehension of the human anatomy.
4. The Anatomy Coloring Book
The best selling Anatomy Coloring Book is an excellent book for those who visual and/or kinesthetic learners as it teaches students about human anatomy through coloring and drawing.
This book takes a unique approach towards teaching people about the human body and its many anatomical structures by combining easy to understand text with an interactive approach through detailed hand-drawn figures that are designed for easy coloring.
The Anatomy Coloring Book includes 162 two-page spreads that use a special color-key system combined with anatomical terminology to bring the visual art together with well understood medical terms.
If you are a visual learner and you’re looking for a book that allows you to interact with the human body an a new and interesting way then The Anatomy Coloring Book may be right for you.
5. Atlas of Anatomy
Atlas of Anatomy is an excellent resource book for anyone who is studying gross anatomy.
This book is packed full of images with over 2,400 full-color illustrations that cover important areas of the human body through layering, arranging and simplifying illustrations of human body and its systems including the skeletal system, muscles, organs, vasculature and nervous systems .
The illustrations are complimented by descriptive labels and text captions to help students quickly decipher and understand the human body, and there are more than 170 tables that summarize important anatomical information for quick reference and easy review.
Land mark and reference lines are also added to help student memorize anatomical structures and improve their test taking abilities. Atlas of Anatomy is wonderful companion book for anyone taking anatomy courses and will help you memorize the structure of the human body and its various systems.
How to choose a good anatomy book
When it comes to choosing an anatomy book that will provide you with the best opportunity to learn and understand human anatomy there are a number of important things to consider to ensure you’ll quickly grasp the topic and be able to comprehend the material you’ll be reading.
For example by determining whether or not the writing style of a book matches your compression and learning style you’ll be able to make a quick decision as to whether or not the book will be a good fit for you and the way you learn.
The rest of this article will discuss the importance of choosing a book based on your experience, finding an author that resonates with you, deciding on the benefits / features that will help you study effectively and asking others for quality book recommendations.
By following the tips laid out here you’ll be able to make a better decision on which anatomy book is best for you.
Determine your understanding of anatomy in advance
To start anatomy books are written differently for students based on their understanding of the topic and the information offered in each book can vary greatly depending on the authors knowledge of the subject and how they choose to present it to you.
Some anatomy books are focused on providing an introduction into the subject and may be light on more comprehensive topics while in depth books offer a great overall understanding of anatomy, but may require a basic or even advanced knowledge of the topic to be used appropriately.
Choosing a book based on your understanding of the topic, especially for novice students is extremely important as it can have a big impact on how quickly you’ll be able to grasp the concepts and facts of the subject.
An appropriately chosen book will minimize the time you spend looking up simpler explanations of comprehensive topics and speed up your ability to understand and retain the information presented to you.
If an anatomy book is difficult for you to understand think about picking up and reading a less difficult book rather than struggling through the one in front of you.
The faster you transition to a book you can quickly understand and grasp the faster you’ll be able to accelerate your learning and pass your classes.
Choose an author / writer that best suits your learning style
No two authors are the same and the way one author teaches a subject can be dramatically different from the way another author does.
In fact authors can be thought of much the same way you’d think of college professors.
Some college professors do a great job of breaking down subjects in ways that you can quickly grasp and understand while other professors seem to make complex topics even more difficult to understand.
Everyone learns differently and the professors that work well for you may not work well for someone else, and the same can be said of authors and their writing styles.
Likewise some professors do a good job of making a subject interesting and illuminating while others present the information in a less entertaining manner.
When choosing an anatomy book you should pick one carefully the way you would a professor in order to maximize your chances of matching your learning style and interest to the authors teaching style.
Chose an author that resonates with you and you’ll have a much better experiences learning about the human anatomy.
A good author can be just as important in learning a topic as a good professor is in and out of the classroom.
Think about additional benefits / features
In addition to purchasing an anatomy book based on your comprehension level and learning style some authors / publications offer additional features that you can take advantage of to maximize your understanding of the topic.
For example some anatomy books offer online resources, digital copies, interactive software and study guides among other things to help learn the subject material.
Other books cater to other forms of learning such as kinesthetic /visual learning via coloring books complementary anatomical figures.
To make your purchasing decision a little easier here are some things to consider when buying an anatomy book:
- Decide whether you prefer a book that incorporates a visual learning experience with lots of photographic images, interactive material and visual vocabulary or a book that’s more focused on contextual material, comprehensive definitions and in depth study material
- Determine if the book offer interactive material such as coloring in anatomical illustrations, interactive software or online resources
- Find out if the author sells companion books or products that can enhance your learning (example some publishers offer complementary dictionaries and illustrative books to provide a more well rounded learning experience)
- Find out if the book is available in a digital format in addition to a physical copy and if so determine if it is a free download with the physical copy
When buying an anatomy book some of these benefits / features may be more important to you than others and each book will offer its own set of utilities, so be sure to determine what factors are most important to you before deciding on a particular book.
Most importantly however, choose an author that will provide you with the learning experience you need to perform at your best.
Ask your professor / classmates for recommendations
Lastly, consider asking your professor and/or classmates for book recommendations to help you study for your anatomy & physiology classes.
While many colleges recommend / require specific books for your anatomy & physiology courses it is a good idea to also check out additional books, especially if the book your college / university expects you to use is difficult for you to understand or use effectively.
Also be sure to check out book reviews on websites such as Amazon and goodreads to get a good understanding of the author and the methods they incorporate to educate their readers along with what other people think of them and their books.
At the end of the day you’ll most likely be graded primarily on your classroom performance and understanding of the subject so it is up to you to make sure you do everything you can to learn about the topic, so be sure to invest in a good anatomy book or two to help you with your education.