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Medical Physiology: Principles for Clinical Medicine


Author: Rodney A. Rhoades PhD and David R. Bell PhD

Publisher: LWW


Publish Date: February 16, 2012

ISBN-10: 1609134273

Pages: 851

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

The function of the human body involves intricate and complex processes at the cellular, organ, and systems level. The fourth edition of Medical Physiology: Principles for Clinical Medicine explains what is currently known about these integrated processes. Although the emphasis of the fourth edition is on normal physiology, discussion of pathophysiology is also undertaken to show how altered functions are involved in disease processes. Th is not only reinforces fundamental physiologic principles, but also demonstrates how basic concepts in physiology serve as important principles in clinical medicine.

Our mission for the fourth edition of Medical Physiology: Principles for Clinical Medicine is to provide a clear, accurate, and up-to-date introduction to medical physiology for medical students and other students in the health sciences as well as to waste no space in so doing—each element of this textbook presents a learning opportunity; therefore we have attempted to maximize those opportunities to the fullest.

This book, like the previous edition, is written for medical students as well as for dental, nursing graduate, and veterinary students who are in healthcare professions. Th is is not an encyclopedic textbook. Rather, the fourth edition focuses on the basic physiologic principles necessary to understand human function, presented from a fundamentally clinical perspective and without diluting important content and explanatory details. Although the book is written primarily with the student in mind, the fourth edition will also be helpful to physicians and other healthcare professionals seeking a physiology refresher.

In the fourth edition, each chapter has been rewritten to minimize the compilation of isolated facts and make the text as lucid, accurate, and up-to-date as possible, with clearly understandable explanations of processes and mechanisms. Th e chapters are written by medical school faculty members who have had many years of experience teaching physiology and who are experts in their fi eld. Th ey have selected material that is important for medical students to know and have presented this material in a concise, uncomplicated, and understandable fashion. We have purposefully avoided discussion of research laboratory methods, and/or historical material. Although such issues are important in other contexts, most medical students prefer to focus on the essentials. We have also avoided topics that are as yet unsettled, while recognizing that new research constantly provides fresh insights and sometimes challenges old ideas.

This book begins with a discussion of basic physiologic concepts, such as homeostasis and cell signaling, in Chapter 1. Chapter 2 covers the cell membrane, membrane transport, and the cell membrane potential. Most of the remaining chapters discuss the diff erent organ systems: nervous (Chapters 3–7), muscle (Chapter 8), cardiovascular (Chapters 11–17), respiratory (Chapters 18–21), renal (Chapters 22–23), gastrointestinal (Chapters 25 and 26), endocrine (Chapters 30–35), and reproductive physiology (Chapters 36–38). Special chapters on the blood (Chapter 9), immunology (Chapter 10), and the liver ( Chapter 27) are included. Th e immunology chapter emphasizes physiologic applications of immunology. Chapters on acid–base regulation (Chapter 24), temperature regulation (Chapter 28), and exercise (Chapter 29) discuss these complex, integrated functions. Th e order of presentation of topics follows that of most United States medical school courses in physiology. Aft er the fi rst two chapters, the other chapters can be read in any order, and some chapters may be skipped if the subjects are taught in other courses (e.g., neurobiology or biochemistry). An important objective for the fourth edition is to demonstrate to the student that physiology, the study of normal function, is key to understanding pathophysiology and pharmacology, and that basic concepts in physiology serve as important principles in clinical medicine.

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