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Book and Media Reviews
July 14, 2010

Anatomic Basis of Neurologic Diagnosis

JAMA. 2010;304(2):214-220. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.948

Aficionados of the anatomical sciences, surgeons and physicians alike, should delight in this volume. I shall not dwell on the inadequacies of most neuroanatomy textbooks, whose precise but arid approach to a difficult topic has scared many a medical student away from the clinical neurosciences. Designed by nature for the curiosity and learning of only the most dedicated, or some might say masochistic, students, neuroanatomy has always been a difficult subject. All first-year medical students must struggle through it, and most, I suspect, retain little. Indeed, what is required for safe and successful medical practice may differ from what is required to pass the curriculum. There is no easy way to learn neuroanatomy. However—“Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?”—the wish of many a student struggling with this subject has been clinical relevance, and the authors have succeeded in giving a practical life to the subject.

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