New Book Highlights

dissection1Dissection and forensic medicine top the list of new books this month at Dana.

Dissection : photographs of a rite of passage in American medicine, 1880-1930 by Warner, John Harley, 1953- (New York : Blast Books, 2009) WZ 17 W282d 2009

From Publisher’s Weekly:

“This is a startling window into the education of American doctors in the late 19th and early 20th centuries-on both a visceral level and for its revealing cultural record. Cringe-worthy shots of medical students-bare-handed gentlemen and a few ladies in street clothes show off their scalpels, saws and textbooks-while their cadavers, mostly poor and black, are awkwardly posed, and exposed. In one stunning shot, a black woman looks out from behind the young students. ‘What are we to make of an African-American woman, standing, broom handle in hand, behind the dissection table, her gaze fixed on the camera?’ the authors ask. More importantly, they conclude, the photo is now drawn ‘out of the shadows of history’ where ‘we can at least bear witness.’ A blood-soaked dissection table makes you want to look away and the dark humor of students playing pranks with skeletons are both hilarious and horrible. Postcards sent to family and friends must have caused shock and awe for postmen and recipient alike. Here, a difficult glance into medicine’s ‘uncomfortable past’ offers a grand opportunity to understand the legacy doctors and patients live with, and benefit from, today.”

Dr. Abigail Zuger writing for The New York Times remarks that many of these photographs “show medicine at its cocky, callous worst.” Others, however, have the opposite effect.  Of one particular image she writes: “Forget the truckloads of grandiose prose that has been spun about the art and science of medicine over the centuries: one look at this picture and you understand what it is all supposed to be about.”

autopsyHandbook of Autopsy Practice by Walters, Brenda L., Ed., 4th ed., (Totowa, N.J. : Humana ; London : Springer [distributor], 2008)

Written by Dr. Brenda Walters, department of Pathology at Fletcher Allen, this is the latest update on current autopsy practice. Publisher information states:

Handbook of Autopsy Practice, Fourth Edition is divided into three parts. Part I contains six new chapters in which the reader will find an assortment of tools that will increase the value of the autopsy. Included in the section are valuable resources and tools such as a sample next-of-kin letter, a quality assurance worksheet, new discourse on the dissection procedure which is accompanied by a worksheet and template for the gross description. There is also a new, detailed discussion of the safe handling of sharps, complete with photographs and the reader will also find the updated requirements of the Eye Bank of America and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for ocular tissue transplantation.

Part II has been updated with new diseases and recent references added. Practicing autopsy pathologists, residents and students are invited to review this alphabetical listing of disorders before each autopsy in order to re-acquaint themselves with what they might encounter. Part III provides a series of tables providing organ weights and body measurements for fetuses, children and adults.

Handbook of Autopsy Practice Fourth Edition is an essential resource for clinicians, pathologists, residents and students who strive to hone their trade and increase the value of the autopsies they perform.”

Handbook of forensic pathology by Di Maio, Vincent J. M., 1941- (Boca Raton : CRC/Taylor & Francis, 2007)  W 639 D582h 2007

Publisher’s Description

“Handbook of Forensic Pathology, Second Edition, provides an up-to-date, concise manual illustrating all core aspects of modern forensic pathology. This new edition retains the outline format of the original, which allows for quick access and rapid assimilation. Written in no nonsense, easily understandable language, this precise and thorough, yet compact resource contains extensively detailed entries from two of the nation’s foremost authorities on gunshot wounds and forensic pathology. With numerous instructional charts and diagrams and new full-color photographs, it organizes a wealth of instructional and immediately applicable information.

Introducing medicolegal casework and documentation, this resource explains protocols for the collection and recovery of evidence and DNA analysis, and lists factors used to determine time of death and identify remains. It covers the natural causes of death in children and adults as well as a myriad of non-natural causes including homicide, suicide, accidental, and undetermined.

With meticulous detail and instant access to extensive information, Handbook of Forensic Pathology, Second Edition, is an indispensable tool for forensic pathologists, law enforcement, legal personnel, as well as pathologists in training.”

Practical forensic microscopy : a laboratory manual by Wheeler, Barbara. (Chichester, England ; Hoboken, NJ : John Wiley, 2008) W 625 W562p 2008

The UVM Libraries’ new book list is updated weekly. Subscribe via RSS feed to subjects that interest you. (Find subject categories listed here, RSS Feed available once in a subject area.)

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