Could I use a different edition textbook for human anatomy?

For my human anatomy and physiology course, the textbook "Anatomy & Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function" in the 6th edition is required. But I just purchased a cheaper one in the 5th edition online. Are there gonna be any huge changes or differences between these two editions?

(I hope not.)

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  • Caligula

    Go to the publisher’s website and find the page for the 6th edition. There’s probably a "New in this Edition!" section that tells you what’s been updated.

    But it’s always a gamble to get a different edition of the text without talking to the professor first. There may be something in the new text (or something may have been removed from the earlier text) that your professor thinks is important. If you gamble, there’s a good chance you’ll win and be fine; but there’s a chance you’ll lose and either really not do well in the class or end up having to buy the 6th edition *after* you have already bought the 5th.

    If you go with the 5th, you are going to want to know someone who has the assigned version to help you figure out which pages you need to read and, if there are any assignments based on problems or questions in the book, exactly what questions you’ll have to answer. You can introduce yourself to people on the first day, or if you are working in a small group you can ask group members.

    Since you have already bought the 5th edition, I would suggest that on the first day you tell your professor you have a copy of the 5th edition and ask whether there have been any major changes in the 6th. (There are a number of reasons a professor might assign the 6th instead of the 5th. One is that she believes there are important new things in the 6th that the students need. Another is that the college or university requires her not to use an "outdated" book. So she may say, "You really need the new edition," or she may say "No, you’ll be fine with the 5th as long as you make sure you’re reading the right parts," or she may have a different answer.)

    Unfortunately, though, if it turns out that you do need the 6th, you’ll probably need to buy it from the college bookstore or an online retailer instead of from a third party that uses the online retailer to get buyers (for example, from rather than from an Amazon Marketplace seller) because you will have waited so long to get the book. That means you’d probably pay more for the book than you would have had to if you had bought the 6th edition in the first place. But there’s a decent chance that won’t happen, and I hope it doesn’t.

  • miiizpiiink18

    There shouldn’t be that much difference. You can still use it. Lots of people do that.
    The pages and maybe some of the concepts are just a bit different but you should be okay

  • iSpeakTheTruth

    There could be. Often a prof will tell students to do something like "read pages 150 – 200, skip 200-225, and continue to page 300 – do problem sets 5.1 – 5.10 and 5.21 to 5.25" If this happens, you’re royally screwed.

  • marverick winslow

    hi there..

    yes you can. the content is same but maybe the level is different for you plus some knowledge. Here the website some info i found. Hope can help you a lot. Thanks

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