The best atlas of human anatomy there is


I do large-format printing and every lawyer who has a malpractice case uses this book. The illustrations are amazing.


Am I the only person wondering why the book photo was taken in someone’s shower?

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I love the guy’s old-school signature on his work, and he seems to have had an interesting life. He got an education in and began a career in art, and then went to medical school after becoming a professional artist because his family thought that medicine was a more fitting and lucrative career than art.

Then it turned out that after becoming a doctor in the depths of the Great Depression he could make more money doing medical illustrations than working as a doctor.


How does this book compare to the software Essential Anatomy 4?

And what if your focus is art and not medicine?

It provides a neutral white background, is available on-hand, has good amount of light. Why not?

Christ, what an asshole.


I recommend this book, in a big way, to anyone taking an anatomy or physiology class. It’s even better than looking at cadavers (and no smell!).

There are traveling exhibitions of plastinated bodies. No smell as well, and excellent spatial resolution of the details.

You can find when one is setting shop in your city by the scream of religious “authorities”. It’s well-worth the admission price, thanks to it I understood quite a lot of how the muscles and tendons on hands and fingers work, more than I was able to from any drawings - the drawings were useful but only after seeing the real thing it “clicked”.

2D illustrations can be only second best, even if they are the best in their class. (Thanks gods for them, though.)

3D high-res models (hi, Oculus Rift!) could be close to the real thing, with a number of advantages (you cannot download a cadaver, for example (so for a home lab you’re stuck with cooking-grade animal stand-ins), and even if, the parts don’t come annotated nor you can switch them on and off as needed).

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Um, I didn’t notice that until you pointed it out. Now, I’m totally freaked out by that.

In med school, it was Netter. Most anatomy groups had a “grease Netter” that stayed in the anatomy lab. Usually everyone in the group chipped in for a paperback since no one would want to use it again after it had formalin infused cadaver fat fingerprints all over it…


That is a good atlas, but not the best one there is…the best atlas of anatomy is the “Color Atlas of Anatomy” which is a truly amazing book full of actual photographs, and accompanying color illustrations where helpful. The real human body looks much different then traditional anatomical drawings however good they may be, and while they can be helpful, nothing beats seeing the actual thing, imho. The Color Atlas of Anatomy is not for the squeamish though…it is a book full of chopped up dead humans, including babies, so be warned i’ve seen people freak out when viewing it. Viewing this book is a good litmus test if you are able to handle being a surgeon, worth thinking about before you invest in 4 years of pre-med.

Books are great —and that looks like a really good one. But despite the smell, dissecting rooms just can’t be beat. The best way to get a real handle on 3D structures is hours spent looking at and manipulating them.


And in some cases MRI sections and xrays. It is nice to see the different imaging methods of the same thing together.

Squeamish? I’d call it pretty mild, child stuff. Forensics is way worse. Here, the subsystems are clearly cut, undamaged, and perfectly preserved from a fresh specimen. Want a litmus test, go forensic pathology. Anything else will then be a cakewalk, stomach-wise.

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I still have my 3D pop-ups book from the (19)80s. :wink:

The BBC had a neat series on the history of anatomy recently.

Episode 5 didn’t end up with Netter, they ended the series with the current edition of Gray’s. Its current edition finally got rid of the very last of the original illustrations and is essentially one of those modern hybrid texts that live partly on the cloud with interactive 3D imagery.

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