About The Books

Garner’s Guide to Gross Anatomy is a series of five ebooks. Each volume covers a different area of the body.

  • Volume 1: Back, Shoulder, Upper Extremity (July 2019)
  • Volume 2: Gluteal Region and Lower Extremity (2019)
  • Volume 3: Thorax
  • Volume 4: Abdomen and Pelvis
  • Volume 5: Head and Neck

A note about the books from the author…

I have been teaching anatomy for a while now and I have heard the same requests from students year after year. They want something that has simple dissection instructions and isn’t too wordy. They want lists of high-yield structures that they should actually spend time dissecting. They want easy ways to understand and remember difficult concepts. They want someone to show them the high-yield structures on a cadaver. Sound familiar…..?

The goal in anatomy is to look at the big picture and understand concepts (looking at the forest, not the trees). In order to use this knowledge in subsequent classes (histology, pathology, physiology, etc) it is important to understand the concepts in anatomy, not just memorize structures to pass exams. But since there is so much information in anatomy, sometimes students can get lost in the details and they find themselves focusing on the branches of the trees (or even the leaves on the branches of the trees!). Then instead of understanding concepts and being able to apply the information, they have just memorized a bunch of facts and regurgitated information. But what happens when that knowledge is needed later (think board exams, other classes, at work, etc)? They need to memorize it all over again!

My goal is to keep you focused on the “forest” and get you to understand the big picture concepts in anatomy so that you can ace your exams and retain the information for years to come.

I want to give you a general overview of the books and what is included in them so that you know what you would be purchasing before you choose to spend the money, and also so that you can get the most out of them. Each volume has different chapters on the component parts of that area of the body. For example, volume one (back, shoulder, and upper extremity) has separate chapters on back/shoulder, chest/axilla, arm, forearm, and hand. Each chapter then contains different sections.

The first section in each chapter covers osteology because in order to understand the various muscles, you need to first understand the foundation on which they attach. There is a list of the high-yield structures for each bone, pictures and labels pointing out those structures, and a video that gives over each individual bone. The videos include each high-yield structure as well as how to tell if it is a right or left bone (if it is paired). Then there is an overview of the area including a list of high-yield muscles, nerves, and vasculature and the general concepts and organization of those structures. Next there are basic dissection instructions with cadaver photos and videos,. These photos and videos are not perfect and this is on purpose! Another comment I have heard from many students is that their dissection doesn’t look like the photos of the dissection they have studied before lab. That’s because most dissection photos that have been published are done perfectly to demonstrate the proper anatomy. But in your lab, are the dissections always perfect? No! Many people in anatomy are dissecting a cadaver for the first time. Of course it isn’t going to be perfect. That’s okay! The photos and videos I have put throughout the books should be similar to the ones that you are doing or seeing. The last section in each chapter is a review that contains practice practical exams. These are set up in photographs so that you can go through them on your own time and note what you think the tags are. Then the answers are just a click away in a list in the book. If you get anything wrong, there is a review video that goes over every single tag so that you can find out why it is wrong and understand what the right answer is and why. If you don’t get anything wrong, you don’t have to sit through a video to find out all the answers. If you just want some extra practice, you can watch the videos as many times as you want.

A few things about the videos….

  • There are speed options. I tend to talk fast so you can slow them down if you want. I also know that a lot of students like to watch videos on double speed because they have a lot to learn and a short amount of time to learn it. You can choose to speed the videos up if that’s how you prefer to learn.
  • You need an internet connection to watch them. There are dozens of hours of videos in these books. Unfortunately, it is impossible to embed all of the videos into one book file that you could fit on your device. (Trust me, I tried!)
  • There are two sample videos (brachial plexus and abdominal vasculature) under the home page. These are not videos from the books. They are videos that I made for my students in a previous class at their request. These are similar to a lot of the videos included in the books, so they should give you an idea of whether you will find them beneficial for your study style or not.

Through the years, I have found that one of the best ways to help students understand concepts is in a very interactive, personalized setting in which we go over the lecture concepts together while looking at the cadavers and going over the corresponding structures. However, in the last few years my classes have grown in size and it is now physically impossible for me to do individual sessions with each student as I’d like. That’s how this idea came about. Each cadaver video is like taking you to lab with me and showing you all of the structures personally. I started this with the intention of providing them to my students, but then I figured why not make them available to anyone interested in anatomy?

As I was working on the books, I realized that there needed to be corresponding lecture content included. I considered embedding lecture presentation files and videos into the book, but I wanted to provide something for free, which is why I started this website. You do not have to purchase the book(s) to learn from the lecture PDFs or videos on this website. However, the lectures provided on this website serve only as an introduction to the concepts that are presented throughout the books and the associated cadaver videos.

Lastly, I know that many people prefer having a hard copy of a book, myself included. The advantage of having an ebook is not only that there can be videos and interactive features, but that it can be updated at any time. If I think that an area needs a better explanation, a different video, or more pictures, I can add them at any time and the books can then be updated on your device. You won’t have to pay for an updated edition. I want these books and this website to grow over the years based on student feedback and needs, so if you have any requests of specific topics you’d like covered, feel free to let me know through the contact section on the homepage of this website.

Happy studying!