Technical Books on Forensic Science and Forensic Medicine: Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine, Vol.11, No. 2, July - December 2010
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Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology

Volume 11, Number 2, July - December 2010

Book Reviews: Technical Books Section

(Page 3)


 

AN INVALUABLE BOOK FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS

quote start...Overall, I am very impressed with the book, and can heartily recommend the book to all undergraduates. Even postgraduates would find this book useful for quick recapitulation. I must congratulate the authors for giving the overburdened student the right type of book...quote end


  Concept maps in Forensic Medicine and Toxicology – A Quick Review for Exams, 1st Edition, by Y.P. Raghvendra Babu, S. Manjunath and Ritesh G. Menezes. softcover, 9" x 7.5".
Peepee Publishers and distributors (P) Ltd, 7/31, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, Post Box-7243, New Delhi-110002, India. Phones 55195868, 9811156083, Email: peepee160@yahoo.co.in; peepee160@rediffmail.com. Publication Date 2010. xvi + 154 pages, ISBN 81-8445-082-6. Price Indian Rupees 160.00

Email Ritesh G. Menezes, one of the authors, by clicking here

Concept maps in Forensic Medicine and Toxicology – A Quick Review for Exams, 1st Edition, by Y.P. Raghvendra Babu, S. Manjunath and Ritesh G. Menezes
Click here to enlarge picture

There are currently a number of books on forensic medicine and toxicology available to students, but unfortunately none gives material to them in short, crisp, no-nonsense chunks of useful information. The overburdened student of today is not interested in thick tomes that impart scholarly ideas, but in shorter textbooks that can be quickly assimilated. I have had personal tête-à-têtes with several of my students regarding the type of book they would welcome most. They have demurely confessed that in today’s world of twenty-20 cricket, no one is interested in a five-day match, implying that they do not have time for a big text book, the so-called equivalent of a “five day test match”. Everybody wants to see a “twenty-20”!

The authors of this short, highly useful book seem to have gotten this message. The book was delivered to me at 1 pm in my room at MAMC by a messenger, and by 4 pm, I was through with this book. The fact that I could revise my entire forensic medicine knowledge in a matter of three hours, is an apt testament of the utility of this book. Not only was I able to revise my existing knowledge, interestingly I even learnt a lot of new facts.

Page 46 from Raghvendra Babus book
A sample page from the book under review. It gives a bird's eye view description of wounds produced by rifled firearms. Please note the further reading section at the bottom. (Please Click to enlarge)
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Essentially this book gives one “capsule” to the student for each major chapter taught to the undergraduates in forensic medicine and toxicology. In the center (of each “capsule”), there is a black box, mentioning the name of the topic the authors want to discuss. From this box radiate a number of arrows pointing to a large number of small and big boxes scattered all around. Each box gives some relevant information about that topic, in small bullet type forms. From some of these boxes, more arrows emanate, which lead to further information in bulleted form. The authors have called this way of presenting information, a “concept map”. To my mind, this is a kind of mental map, which the student can absorb very quickly and retain for a longer time. Good memory is that which is like wax when impressions are made on it, and like cement when impressions tend to erode. Not all of us have this type of memory, but a good book can certainly help. Good “concept maps” like the ones the authors have presented in this book, seem to help in this direction. Knowledge is acquired quickly and hopefully will not fade for a long time. We are reproducing two such pages here, so the reader would know what I am talking about.

Page 122 from Raghvendra Babus book
A sample page from the book under review. All relevant information on organophosphates that is expected from a student is given here in a capsule form. Please note the further reading section at the bottom. (Please Click to enlarge)

I would like to mention some nuggets which the authors give in this book. On the very first page, one of the differential diagnoses of rigor mortis mentioned is chemical stiffening (embalming), which is usually not mentioned in textbooks. On page 17, I was very pleased to see the authors mentioning “But for test”. I have seen very few books, where this test is mentioned. As we all know this test refers to a situation where the patient must prove that harm would not have occurred ‘but for’ the negligence of the doctor. What is very gratifying is that virtually on every page, the authors have given a “further reading” list, which the students can explore, particularly postgraduate students.

The book contains forewords by three most prominent professionals – one by my favorite Jason Payne James. I am pleased to learn that even Jason has a very good opinion about the book.

Overall, I am very impressed with the book, and can heartily recommend the book to all undergraduates. Even postgraduates would find this book useful for quick recapitulation. I must congratulate the authors for giving the overburdened student the right type of book.




 

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-Anil Aggrawal





 Books for review must be submitted at the following address.

 Professor Anil Aggrawal (Editor-in-Chief)
Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
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  home  > Volume 11, Number 2, July - December 2010  > Reviews  > Technical Books  > page 3: Concept maps in Forensic Medicine and Toxicology – A Quick Review for Exams   (you are here)
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