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If you were asked to give a friend directions from your office to a restaurant down the street, your instructions may sound something like this—turn right at the office door, walk to the exit at the end of the hall, walk to the bottom of the stairs, take a left, exit out of the front of the building, walk across the bridge, continue straight for two blocks passing the post office and library, and you will see the restaurant on your right. If you pass the gas station, you have gone too far. The task is to get to the restaurant. The landmarks guide your friend along the way to complete the task.

Now, imagine if an anatomist were to give directions from the office to the restaurant in the same way most anatomy textbooks are written. Details would be relayed on the dimensions of the office, paint color, carpet thread count, position and dimensions of the desk in relation to the book shelf along the wall, including the number, types, and sizes of books lining the shelves, and door dimensions and office door material in relation to the other doors in the same building. This would occur over the course of 10 pages—and the friend still would not have left the office. The difference between you giving a friend directions to a restaurant and the anatomist giving directions to the same restaurant may be compared with the difference between many anatomy textbooks and this Big Picture textbook—taking a long time to get to the restaurant or possibly not finding it, versus succinct relevant directions that take you directly to the restaurant, respectively.

The purpose of this textbook, therefore, is to provide students with the necessary landmarks to accomplish their task—to understand the big picture of human anatomy in the context of health care—while bypassing the minutia. The landmarks used to accomplish this task are text and illustrations. They are complete, yet concise and both figuratively and literally provide the “Big Picture” of human anatomy.

The format of the book is simple. Each page-spread consists of text on the left-hand page and associated illustrations on the right-hand page. In this way, students are able to grasp the big picture of individual anatomy principles in bite-sized pieces, a concept at a time.

  • Key structures are highlighted in bold when first mentioned.

  • Bullets and numbers are used to break down important concepts.

  • Approximately 450 full-color figures illustrate the essential anatomy.

  • High-yield clinically relevant concepts throughout the text are indicated by an icon.

  • Study questions and answers follow each section.

  • A final examination is provided at the end of the text.

We hope you enjoy this text as much as we enjoyed writing it.

—David A. Morton

—K. Bo Foreman

—Kurt H. Albertine

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