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Textbooks of Anatomy, Histology, Embryology & Genetics: A Comparative Review

As  a part of my series of comparative reviews of various textbooks, I am writing this review of books of Anatomy, Neuroanatomy, Histology, Embryology and Medical Genetics. Books marked as Recommended are the ones which students should consider buying and reading according to their needs. I have also mentioned MCQ’s books for MCQ section of the UG exam papers and for PG medical exams preparation.


BD Chaurasia’s Human Anatomy: (Vol. 1: Upper Limb Thorax, Vol. 2: Lower Limb Abdomen and Pelvis, Vol. 3: Head-Neck Brain) by B. D. Chaurasia (Recommended)

The most widely read book of anatomy by UG students in India. Book is very well detailed and best book to write the exam papers. But I don’t think such kind of books really improve the understanding of the Anatomy of human body in any way in students. Book had diagrams which are exams oriented and are not best to understand the anatomy. Also binding of the pages of the book is one of the worst. But still this is a recommended book and students should buy it and read it. Ideally students should use this book in combination with Atlas of Human Anatomy by Frank H. Netter for best understanding of the topic.

Gray’s Anatomy for Students by Richard L. Drake (Recommended)

1st thing which would come to mind of student by the name of this book is Gray’s Anatomy TV series. But actually the series gets its name from this book. This is most widely read book of anatomy by students worldwide and is the overall best book available in market But as like all international books, it is difficult to reproduce the answers in the exams. That is the problem with the exam system in India, which has to be improved.

Atlas of Anatomy (South Asian Edition) by Gilroy, MacPherson, Schuenke, Schulte, Schumacher (Thieme) (Recommended)

This atlas was provided to me by Thieme Publishers as a review copy. After going through it I was amazed at the quality of this atlas. Images are high resolution and clear to view. Details, description, tables, and the number of figures make this book a better Atlas than the Netter Atlas of Anatomy, that says a lot. It included some anatomical images and explanations which I had never seen in any other anatomy atlas and giving views of the human body from so many angles in amazing. It also has photographs of CT scans, MRI, USG, contrast radiography, and x-rays. This is like a combination of anatomy and radiology book. Giving clinical perspective of the anatomical images gives the students a better understanding of the significance of what and why they are reading the anatomy. This helps in making this boring subject more interesting for students. It also gives an access to Access to PLUS website for viewing anatomy and learning online. I think this book is a must buy for all the 1st year medical students. You can view this book on

Atlas of Human Anatomy by Frank H. Netter (Recommended)

The best Atlas of Anatomy I have come across. This is an excellent book and a must buy for all UG students. You cannot complete your knowledge of Anatomy without this book. All the diagrams are hand drawn by Frank H. Netter in amazing details. Lebelling of parts in the diagrams is also great and adds great value to the understanding of the topic. Newer diagrams are produced by animation but even they are equally great.

Grant’s Atlas Of Anatomy by Anne M. Agur, Arthur F. Dalley

Not even comparable to Netter and I would not recommend any student to buy this Atlas.

Textbook of Anatomy (Upper Limb and Thorax – Vol.1, Abdomen and Lower Limb – Vol.2, Head, Neck and Brain – Vol. 3) by Vishram Singh

A textbook of Anatomy by Vishram Singh which is an alternative to Chaurasia. Students should go through this book and consider it as a replacement for Chaurasia.

Textbook of Clinical Neuroanatomy by Vishram Singh (Recommended)

A seperate book for Neuroanatomy which expains it in much better manner than BD Chaurasia. I would recommend this book for students who do not like topic given in Chaurasia.

Thieme Dissector-Head, Neck and Brain/ Abdomen and Lower Limb/ Upper Limb and Thorax by Vishram Singh , G. P. Pal , S. D. Gangane

This is another set of books given to me by Thieme publishers as a review copy. It has 3 volumes. After going through it I remembered the Cunningham’ manual of practice anatomy. These set of books are overall better than Cunningham. It has some images which are taken from Thieme Atlas of Anatomy and it gives a good description of the anatomy. This book is written by VIshram Singh who has many books related to anatomy by his name. Students can consider buying this book if they want to buy something to aid the dissection. Otherwise, better not to waste money on dissection books.

Cunningham’s Manual Practice Anatomy (Vol. 1-2) G. J. Romanes

Do not buy this book. It is total waste of money and adds no value to the students.

Textbook Of Anatomy (3 Volumes) by Inderbir Singh

Clinically Oriented Anatomy by by Keith L. Moore, Arthur F. Dalley, Anne M. Agur

Ross and Wilson Anatomy and Physiology in Health and Illness by Anne Waugh

Selective Anatomy: Prep Manual for Undergraduates: 2 volumes by Vishram Singh

BD Chaurasia’s Handbook of General Anatomy by B. D. Chaurasia

Questions & Answers: Exam-Oriented Anatomy Above Diaphragm (With Colour Diagrams) by Shoukat N. Kazi

Gray’s Anatomy for Students : An Instant Review by Richard L. Drake

Viva in Anatomy, Physiology & Biochemistry by Vij Anjula

MCQ’s Books

Anatomy (Vol. 1-4) – Exam Success Review MCQs for MBBS Ist Prof & PG Entrance by Brijendra Singh

Self Assessment & Review Of Basic Subjects Anatomy And Forensic MEdicine by Arvind Arora


Inderbir Singh’s Textbook of Human Histology with Colour Atlas and Practical Guide by Vasudeva Neelam & Sabita Mishra (Recommended)

This is the book of Histology which me and my batchmates used to read in our UG days. Book is well written and has diagrams given which well explains the topic.

Textbook of Histology by G P Pal (Recommended)

This book was given to me by Paras Medical Publishers for review. I have not read this book workd by word but have gone through it. Book is well written and gives topics in good details. It gives hand drawn and animated diagrams along with actual photo of a histological slide for better understanding of the tissue. Diagrams are for easy understanding and respresentation and slides are for knowing how actually those tissue would look through the Microscope.

Difiore’s Atlas Of Histology With Functional Correlations: With Functional Correlations by Victor P. Eroschenko

I had bought to atlas on recommendations of my teacher in my UG, but I totally regretted it. Do not buy this atlast. It is pretty much usless at UG level and adds to value to the knowledge or understanding of the topic. Slides which students are supposed to see and identify in exams are different than the photographs of slides in this atlas, and they are more on ideal side which are not in actual exams.

Netter’s Histology: An Instant Review – South Asia Edition by Ovalle, Nahirney

Wheater’s Functional Histology by Barbara Young

Histology: A Text and Atlas: With Correlated Cell and Molecular Biology (International Edition) by Michael H. Ross, Wojciech Pawlina

Practical Manual Of Histology For Medical Students by Kote Neelkanth

Text Book of Histology Colour Atlas by Krishna Garg / Mohini Kaul / Indira Bahl

Practical Histology for Medical Students by S R Prasad

Histology: Text & Atlas by Brijesh Kumar


The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology by Keith L. Moore, T. V. N. Persaud, Mark G. Torchia (Recommended)

The Developing Human: Embryology by Keith L. Moore is the book which I had bought and read during my UG days along with one by IB Singh. The Developing Human is the best book to understand embryology. I have read IB Singh and gone through many other book including Langman but nothing beats Keith Moore when it comes to explaining the embryology. Diagrams are excellent and gives all the details of human development in easy to understand manner but in details. I would highly recommend this book to all UG students. I know the book is more on the expensive side but if you can’t afford it, go to your college library and read this book. Embryology is something which is best when it is understood instead of mugging the topics. Altough wightage of marks of embryology subject is less, this book can always be referred to understand the topic.

Human Embryology by Singh Inderbir (Recommended)

This is an exam oriented book and gives diagrams in hand drawn manner so that it would be easier for students to reproduce those in the exams. Book is concise and just enough to know at a UG 1st year MBBS level.

Langman’s Medical Embryology by Sadler

Diagrams given in this book are more of actual photographs of the embryo instead of graphical representation. Actual photos do not explain the topic in good manner and diagrams are best way to understand the topic. So I would not really recommend any UG students to buy this book.

BD Chaurasia’s Dream Human Embryology by Krishna Garg

Textbook of Clinical Embryology by Vishram Singh

Larsen’s Human Embryology by Schoenwolf

Netter’s Atlas of Human Embryology by Cochard

Medical Genetics

For medical genetics there are not many varities of books available as the topic as very less wightage as such at UG MBBS level. Following are some books which will be useful to students for UG level exams. There are few highly detailed version of Medical Genetics books available but those are for specialty level and would be useful to students of DM Medical Genetics.

Medical Genetics by G.P. Pal

Emery’s Elements of Medical Genetics by Peter Turnpenny

Medical Genetics by Jorde

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Updated on: 06/11/2017

Published on: 02/07/2016

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  1. For Anatomy subject I recommend QuickStudy reference guide, atlas and flashcards. It comprises of key concepts, skills and techniques essential for the anatomy subjects.
    For more info visit:


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