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August 1, 1936

A Synopsis of Physiology

JAMA. 1936;107(5):378. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770310056037

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This compendium of physiology has been reedited. The fact that the senior author is professor of surgery in a British university will assure the reader that the emphasis is clinical rather than academic. The concise form of the work leads to undesirable dogmatism and to many statements that are not rigorously true. Properly and critically used, this kind of a book might be valuable, particularly in reviewing for examinations. Unfortunately, works of this kind are ordinarily employed by persons without a basis for critical judgment. It is consequently to be recommended cautiously. If the index were a little more extensive, the book might serve as an elementary reference dictionary. Much new material has been added in the second edition, including such highly technical data as the tentative structural formulas for ergosterol, vitamin A and the female sex hormones. The inclusion of such material gives a fallacious impression of scholarly completeness.

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