Thank you to the colleagues and students who have made this textbook so successful and helped to ensure its staying power in a very competitive textbook niche. Several people have asked me, with this book doing so well, why I don’t retire from the classroom.
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The answer is that not only do I find classroom teaching the most fulfilling aspect of my profession, but also that it is my students who teach me how to write. I work continually at finding more and more effective ways of getting concepts across to them, at turning on the light of insight. The best ideas for communicating difficult physiological ideas often come to mind during my face-to-face interactions with students, and many are the times that I have dashed back from the lecture room to the drawing pad or keyboard to sketch concepts for new illustrations or write down new explanations. Grading exams and homework assignments also continually gives me new impressions of whether I have effectively taught an idea through my writing. Thus, my students are my unwitting writing teachers. This pertains also to the students in my “extended classroom”—students worldwide who use the book and write to ask my help in understanding difficult concepts. What are the improvements in this edition? I continue to aim for ever-better clarity, brevity, currency, and accuracy.
Physiology, especially, is a complex subject to explain to beginning students, and I am always working in both the lecture room and textbook to find clearer ways to explain it. Physiology also is a fast-growing field, and it’s a challenge to keep a book up to date without it growing longer and longer. After all, our lecture periods and semesters aren’t getting any longer! So, while updating information, I have looked for ways to make my discussions more concise in each edition. I also continue to correct errors as students and content experts have sent me queries, corrections, and suggestions. Accuracy is, of course, an advantage of a seasoned textbook over a newcomer, and this book has gained a lot of seasoning and a little spice from my extensive correspondence with students and colleagues. This preface describes the book’s intended audience, how we determined what students and instructors want in the ideal A&P textbook, what has changed in this edition to best meet your needs, how this book differs from others, and what supplements are available to round out the total teaching package.
Free Medical Books: Anatomy & Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function