Atlas of Anatomy


Each of us was amazed and impressed with the extraordinary detail, accuracy, and beauty of the material that was created for the Thieme Atlas of Anatomy by authors Michael Schuenke, Erik Schulte, and Udo Schumacher and artists Markus Voll and Karl Wesker. We felt these atlases and their pedagogical concepts were one of the most significant additions to anatomical education in the past 50 years. It was our intent to use this exceptional material as the cornerstone of our effort to create a concise single volume Atlas of Anatomy for the curious and eager health science student.

Our challenge was first to select from this extensive collection those images that are most instructive and illustrative of current dissection approaches. Along the way, however, we realized that creating a single volume atlas was much more than choosing images: each image had to convey a significant amount of detail while the appeal and labeling needed to be clean and soothing to the eye. Therefore, hundreds of illustrations were drawn new or modified to fit the approach of this new atlas. In addition, key schematic diagrams and simplified summary-form tables were added wherever needed. Dozens of applicable radiographic images and important clinical correlates have been added where appropriate. Additionally, surface anatomy illustrations are accompanied by questions designed to direct the student's attention to anatomic detail that is most relevant in conducting the physical exam. Elements from each of these features are arranged in a regional format to facilitate common dissection approaches. Within each region the various components are examined systemically, followed by topographical images to tie the systems within the region together. In all of this, a clinical perspective on the anatomical structures is taken. The unique two facing pages “spread” format focuses the user to the area/topic being explored.

We hope these efforts, the results of close to 100 combined years of experience teaching the discipline of anatomy to bright, enthusiastic students, has resulted in a comprehensive, easy-to-use resource and reference.

We would like to thank our colleagues at Thieme Publishers who so professionally facilitated this effort. We cannot thank enough, Cathrin E. Schulz, MD, Editorial Director Educational Products, who so graciously reminded us of deadlines, while always being available to troubleshoot problems. More importantly, she encouraged, helped, and complimented our efforts.

We also wish to extend very special thanks and appreciation to Bridget Queenan, Developmental Editor, who edited and developed the manuscript with an outstanding talent for visualization and intuitive flow of information. We are very grateful to her for catching many details along the way while always patiently responding to requests for artwork and labeling changes.

Cordial thanks to Elsie Starbecker, Senior Production Editor, who with great care and speed produced this atlas with its over 2,200 illustrations. Finally thanks to Rebecca McTavish, Developmental Editor, for joining the team in the correction phase. Their hard work has made the Atlas of Anatomy a reality.

Anne M. Gilroy
Brian R. MacPherson
Lawrence M. Ross

March 2008,
Worcester, MA, Lexington, KY, and Houston, TX