After graduating from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1967, I eventually practiced Neurology, Ophthalmology, and Family Medicine at one time or another, in addition to engaging in research in neuronal development and regeneration at the NIH, New York Medical College, and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. I moved on to teaching at the U of M, where I am currently Professor Emeritus, and taught Neuroanatomy and Family Medicine to medical students for 25 years.
My first book, Clinical Neuroanatomy Made Ridiculously Simple was rejected by multiple publishers, some of whom felt it was too short, or that its humor and mnemonics were not professional. One reviewer wrote “the inane examples — alone would alienate both faculty and students. There may be a small group of medical students who might enjoy the sophomoric humor, but most of these students have been frozen socially since the sixth grade and do not represent the medical student community.”
With this encouragement, and also that of my students, who gave me an award for teaching in the same manner that the reviewer criticized, I decided to form the MedMaster publishing company, with the publishing of Clinical Neuroanatomy MRS in 1979. It had occurred to me that when publishing companies send a book to experts for review, they may not be experts in how to teach students learning the subject for the first time. Students can be overwhelmed by the information explosion. “There is too much to know and not enough time to learn it.” Humor, mnemonics, clinical relevance, clarity, and brevity help. Within a short time, the book became the best-selling book in neuroanatomy. The first year class president at one medical school, whose neuroanatomy professor was the author of a leading competing book, called me and said that his entire class wanted to buy my book because they were taking a course called “Neuroanatomy Made Ridiculously Difficult.”
Since then, I have joined with other authors of like mind to publish other “Made Ridiculously Simple” books for MedMaster. I received the George Paff teaching award for Most Outstanding Professor 11 times at the University of Miami. In 2004, I was invited by the graduating class at the Washington University School of Medicine at St. Louis to give the keynote address at their graduation, in view of the contributions of the MedMaster series.
Books I have written include:
Clinical Neuroanatomy Made Ridiculously Simple
Clinical Anatomy Made Ridiculously Simple
Clinical Physiology Made Ridiculously Simple
Clinical Biochemistry Made Ridiculously Simple
Clinical Biostatistics Made Ridiculously Simple
Ophthalmology Made Ridiculously Simple
The Four-Minute Neurologic Exam
Anatomy of the Soul: Mind, God, and the Afterlife
LiveCode Lite: Computer Programming Made Ridiculously Simple
Med School Made Ridiculously Simple
Software I have programmed:
Atlas of Human Diseases
Atlas of Microbiology (for Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple)
Atlas of Dermatology
MedSearcher (search engines in medicine)
Atlas of Orthopedics
USMLE Step 1, Step 2, and NCLEX-RN Question Banks
Neurologic Localization (for Clinical Neuroanatomy MRS)
Differential Diagnosis (for Clinical Pathophysiology MRS)
Heart Sounds and Images (for Clinical Cardiology MRS)
Atlas of Pathology (for Pathology MRS)
Atlas of Radiology (for Clinical Radiology MRS)
Atlas of Normal Radiology (for Clinical Anatomy MRS)
In view of my diverse experiences in practicing three specialties (Neurology, Ophthalmology, and Family Medicine, with Board certification in the latter two fields), engaging in academic research, teaching, editing all the submitted books to MedMaster since 1979, programming all the CDs and digital downloads for MedMaster, and feedback through the years from many students and teachers, I thought I might have something to contribute to medical students who are experiencing the stress of medical school and post medical school training, as I did.
I welcome feedback and suggestions from the readers of this blog.