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The Placenta: To Know Me Is To Love Me. A Reference Guide for Gross Placental Examination

The Placenta: To Know Me Is To Love Me. A Reference Guide for Gross Placental Examination - Doris Schuler-Maloney;Marty Boesenberg;Steve Lee Handling placentas is more fun than a barrel of monkeys, and this book has hundreds of creative and fun projects for kids, using just placentas and other common household items. You can make cool Christmas decorations! ...or how about a toy for your cat? Use them to get tough grease stains off your engine block! Maybe create fanciful door prizes for your next neighborhood gathering.Okay, just kidding- but I am surprised at some of the stuff people actually do with placentas, like this, or this, or even this. Schuler-Maloney's book doesn't get into any of those things, but I thought I'd mention them, for interest. If you're trying to think of something novel thing to do with your placenta, consider asking your obstetrician to send it down to your hospital's pathology dept to examine. Crrrrrrrr-azy! It's funny, but a lot of physicians don't. I think a lot of them regard placentas as a bloody mess, and nobody really likes handling them. Many physicians figure if a normal, healthy baby was delivered without complications, why bother looking at the placenta?That's not totally unreasonable, but sometimes you can learn unexpected things just by spending a few minutes in the lab, examining a placenta. Come on, people: Let's stop treating them like second-class specimens! I'm not going to go through the index here, listing all the measurements and observations that can be made. That would be kind of technical and boring, if you aren't into this sort of thing, and I don't want to give the impression of making light of some serious diagnoses that might be revealed. My only point here is just to say that examining placentas doesn't take much time, and it can be potentially beneficial to mother and newborn. If you're a pathology resident, take some time to learn this skill. It will serve you well, and this is a wonderful book to learn with.This isn't even what I wanted to talk about.What I really wanted to say is that I've been using this book for thirteen years, and it has been invaluable, both at the histology bench, and in writing reports. It's one of the best medical texts I've ever owned, and it was written by a pathologist's assistant at a community hospital. That's right: it wasn't written by a physician, or a fancy PhD at a big-name academic center! Heresy!!! *****Note*****If you are an academic physician, you may wish to lay down now, for a few minutes. Also, be sure to keep you legs elevated, and to stay well-hydrated. The feeling you are experiencing is shock, and it is an entirely normal response to the news you have just heard. It should pass in a few minutes. If it does not, be sure to consult with another high-powered academic physician, preferably an MD/PhD from an Ivy-League school.I kid, I kid...but it is no secret that American medicine has a well-known mindset that places great (excessive?) importance on the status of certain brand-name institutions. Not to take away from these schools, but they aren't the only source of knowledge and skill in our field. This book is well-written, and refreshingly demure. Doris Schuler-Maloney has a confident, yet modest style. She's obviously had a great deal of practical, hands-on experience in a histology lab, and just wants to convey what she's learned to likeminded professionals, in a straightforward manner. You've got to love the title; it's so unpretentious, it's almost flouting the academic establishment. There are probably professors at Harvard who would rather die a thousand deaths than publish something that sounded so folksy and unassuming!So that's my recommendation: 5 stars for content, 5 stars for delivery!(get it? that's an obstetrics pun.)-----------------------If you want to learn more about placentas for serious, here are some references, expand this spoiler: What is a placenta?Why examine a placenta?Guidelines for examining a placentaInteresting placenta article for Family Physicians