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Human Physiology

Robert L. Vick, PhD
JAMA. 1990;264(16):2147. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450160117048.
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This is the second edition of an English version of a long-established German textbook. The translation is a triumph—there is no awkward phrasing or any other indication that this book was not originally written in English. The book is relatively brief, although all of the traditional topics are covered. Unfortunately, some of the sections, most notably that on endocrinology, are too brief.

The text is up-to-date in most respects, although there are some surprising exceptions. For example, the subdivision of adrenergic receptors (eg, α1, α2, β1, and β2) is given only the briefest mention, and the description of the cardiac pacemaker mechanism is not current. Some areas simply are not covered well. The cardiac atrioventricular junction, for example, is not characterized at all. As seems to be usual with textbooks that have gone through several editions, new material is added, but old material is not always


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