Clinical Neuroanatomy Made Ridiculously Simple

(35 customer reviews)

This now-classic text (approaching 500,000 copies sold) presents the most relevant points while traversing the daunting waters of clinical neuroanatomy with mnemonics, humor, illustrations and case presentations. Topics include General Anatomical Organization, Blood Supply, Meninges and Spinal Fluid, Spinal Cord, Brain Stem, The Visual System, Autonomic System and Hypothalamus, Cerebellum, Basal Ganglia and Thalamus, Cerebral Cortex, Neurotransmitters, Mini-atlas and Clinical Review in only 99 pages! Brief, clear and conceptually intuitive.

Excellent USMLE Board Review.

Digital Download of Neurologic Localization program (Win/Mac), which includes:

  • 3D animated rotations of the brain.
  • Neuroanatomy laboratory tutorial with photographs of brain specimens.
  • Clicking on any area of the nervous system reveals the name of the structure and the effects of an injury to that area, with explanations.
  • Selecting a symptom graphically shows all areas of the nervous system that, when injured, could result in the symptom.
  • Tutorial on how to localize neurologic injuries.
  • Interactive quiz of classic neurologic cases.


Book Details






Edition 5 (March 15, 2014)




Includes interactive download of Neurologic Localization (WIN/MAC)

About The Author

Stephen  Goldberg

Stephen Goldberg, MD, a graduate of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, trained in Neurology, Ophthalmology, and Family Medicine. He is a neurologic researcher, teacher, computer programmer, writer, editor, and president of the Medmaster publishing company. Dr. Goldberg has published numerous papers on neuronal development and regeneration through research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, New York Medical College and the University of Miami. He is the author of the best-selling book, Clinical Neuroanatomy Made Ridiculously Simple, as well as the interactive computer program Neurologic Localization. As a coordinator of neuroanatomy education at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine for 25 years, his reputation is that of an educator who can simplify complex topics. He received the George Paff Most Outstanding Professor Teaching Award 11 times at the U of M and was invited to be the keynote speaker at the medical school graduation commencement at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis in 2004. He has also authored textbooks of Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Biostatistics, Neurology, Ophthalmology and Computer Programming, as well as many interactive computer programs on a variety of medical topics.

Free Digital Download of Neurologic Localization Program


Chapter 1. General Organization
Chapter 2. Blood Supply, Meninges and Spinal Fluid
Chapter 3. Spinal Cord
Chapter 4. Brain Stem
Chapter 5. Visual System
Chapter 6. Autonomic System and Hypothalamus
Chapter 7. Cerebellum Basal Ganglia and Thalamus
Chapter 8. Cerebral Cortex
Chapter 9. Clinical Review
Chapter 10. Miniatlas
Chapter 11. Neurotransmitters

35 reviews for Clinical Neuroanatomy Made Ridiculously Simple

  1. Judi G – Saving My Grade

    So I stink at visualization and taking neuroanatomy has been a lesson in humility. I’ve tried websites and at least four other books to help my brain do a little better because I pretty much expect A’s of myself. This book was the first one to REALLY make things stick and simple enough that I could build on. I showed it to a classmate and she loved it enough to buy a copy for herself. It’s not going to fill in all the gory details, but this will get you a great start and break it down into terms easy enough for a layperson.

  2. B. Hummel – The best!!

    Was studying for my SCRN exam and struggling with the anatomy part. This book saved me! I read the whole thing in a day and felt like I FINALLY understood everything!

  3. DR DEADPOOL – a true classic.

    This book is a classic for a reason. I’ve been out of medical school for many years, and I’m suffering from a fairly complicated neurologic condition myself. I wanted to review basic neuroanatomy to better understand my own condition, and this book is helping me to understand what is going on. If I could give it more stars I would.

  4. Mfiver – The DVD that comes with it has an amazing program that maps all the tracts

    One of the most helpful tools for medical students during neuroscience modules. The DVD that comes with it has an amazing program that maps all the tracts, brain areas and lesions. You can learn and test yourself pretty easily. Highly recommended.

  5. Keeka – Great book for Neuroanatomy review

    l learned Neuroanatomy with this book and anytime I feel like I need to brush up on the basics, I re-read this book and it’s great. It’s a fun read and makes learning neuroanatomy way more fun and accessible than your textbook. Haven’t used the interactive CD because their are apps with the same tools, but what a great addition.

  6. Sherry Ainsworth – starsA Gem of a Book by Dr. Goldberg

    This is the granddaddy of the MRS books, written by the series originator, Dr. Goldberg. I got the earliest edition of this book in 1979, and learned from his explanations and the drawings. Now I’m back in college in the new century, and here he is still, and with an interactive CD to boot. Dr. Goldberg, thank you for your clarifying explanations and your influence on my career!

  7. V – Perfect for USMLE Step 1 review.

    A great an useful tool for any medical student. I use this for my USMLE step 1 review, and highly recommend. As with other books in the “made ridiculously simple” series, this book has just enough information to help you understand the material, but not too much, Where he becomes unnecessary for USMLE.

  8. John G. – Five Stars

    Best neuro training a medical student can get. Read BEFORE your neuro-anatomy or neurology course/rotation.

  9. NoOne – Great review book…

    Used this book in addition to my lecture material and really loved the simplified pictures. I find only after having a simplified picture of anatomy in my mind can I start inserting the more detailed parts. This book really gave a great overall picture of neuroanatomy and included some diseases as well. Would recommend this book to a friend.

  10. D. Meeker – Memorable clarity for a complicated subject

    Might not do for obsessive-compulsive professional neuroanatomists; but for docs needing to remember how the patient in the exam room fits together, this is a great introduction or review!

  11. K A D – Excellent must have for any clinical neuroanatomy course

    This book really did make the lecture material SUPER manageable. I agree with other raters’ comments: this book is not going to teach it all and is not something to just sit and read, BUT used in conjunction with a course, it may be the only supplement you need (it was for most of my class). It is full of hints on memorization and logic and is a must have. I am getting ready to start my neuro rotation and it is going to be reviewed before-hand and will come with me.

  12. S. Erb – starsA necessity if you’re struggling with neuroanatomy in medical school …

    A necessity if you’re struggling with neuroanatomy in medical school. And small enough to use as a bookmark in your “real” neuro book!

  13. Melissa Tournet – great for nurses, doctors, and students

    I used this book a lot to help study for my neuro nursing certification, and I use it still just to help refresh my memory on how it all works. I’ve been a neuro ICU nurse for a long time, but I still forget stuff and this book is a great, simple reference which also has given me great ideas on easy ways to explain and educate my patients and their families.

  14. JCF – Finally

    I think I may finally understand aspects of neuroanatomy and localizing lesions that have for some reason previously seemed incomprehensible. Now I comprehend – and it was painless. Great help.

  15. Danielle – Nice Companion Book

    Very simplified book, which makes life so much easier for difficult neuro concepts! Definitely not a textbook but very nice for a companion to the textbook.

    My only complaint is that I wish there were some things in it that aren’t necessarily clinically relevant but are very course relevant in medical school–they specifically skip over the thalamic connections and state that it’s because it’s not relevant to clinical practice. I guess I just want a book entitled, “How to Memorize all the Ultra Tedious Aspects of Neuroanatomy Made Ridiculously Simple”.

  16. mojo – Better than High Yield

    I used this book to review for the USMLE Step 1 and really enjoyed it. In general, I’ve found the “Ridiculously Simple” Series to be better for me that “High Yield.” Although the “Ridiculously Simple” books don’t always pack in quite as much information, they are much better at helping you remember things with their clever drawings and mnemonics. And in the end, it’s not what you went over but what you REMEMBER that counts. I also found this book quite useful for clearing up several clinical points that were not well covered in my neuroanatomy course. The only reason it gets 4 stars is that I wish some of the figures and drawings were a little better. But overall it’s a great little book!

  17. Justin Hamlin – Useful

    This book is not as good as the one for gross anatomy by the same author, but it is still quite helpful. I would not have gotten through neuroanatomy without it. It gives you a very useful big picture that puts together all of the minute details of the subject that can cause you to miss the forest for all the trees. In addition, it has a great appendix of common lesions that is VERY HIGH YIELD. I would recommend this book just for that alone.

  18. wenfei – A concise time-saver!

    Believe it or not, this book got me through my medical school neuroanatomy class. It condenses a lot of material into a manageable set of major topics. This makes it a lot easier to get into your head when time is of the essence. I would have run into information overload my first year of med school if it hadn’t been for this book!

  19. Yellowbells – PS this review is biased because I love the MRS series

    I bought my First Clinical Neuroanatomy MRS when I was in med school. I lost my copy when I was moving so I bought a new copy. 2nd year of residency i still proudly display it on my book shelf. P.S this review is biased because I love the MRS series.

  20. eliza13 – the best book for studying neuro

    When studying for my specialist in neurologic PT exam, this was the go-to resource for my study group and me. The writing and drawings are SO CLEAR on certain points that aren’t well-explained in other textbooks. And because it’s so concise, it’s simple to carry around and reference quickly when you’re studying. Like a previous reviewer said, it’s not what you read that matters, it’s what you remember. This book is great at helping solidify key points in your memory. I’ve since loaned it to 4 friends taking the exam and it’s everyone’s favorite neuro study guide!!

  21. A.C. – Simplicity is a gift

    This is not a dumb book, far from it. Simplicity is the hardest thing to achieve when it comes tu subjects like medicine, specially neuroanatomy. This is a masterpiece making simple the complex things and easy the hard things

  22. Irene R – amusing and fun

    If you are the type of person who doesn’t prefer non-informational quirks and innovative spins used in the presentation of hard scienfitic facts, then this book isn’t for you. However, if you happen to find learning more entertaining and engaging when it includes a little bit of humor, imagination and creativity in its descriptions of what otherwise would be pretty dry material, then I would definitely suggest this book. Some people may find the kind of format it uses to be inappropriate or distracting, depending on their attitude towards learning in general, but I personally found it to be so witty and vividly personable compared to most textbooks that I almost felt like I was reading for recreation again (which I haven’t done really to any extent since I enrolled in medical school and have had my head buried in books out of obligation).

    On the whole, however, this book should be used only as a supplement to a conventional neurology text in order to gain a better conceptual understanding of neurology and a basic overview of the organization of its components and how they interact, because it actual content is abbreviated to the point where specific details that I will be required to know for exams are excluded.

  23. born1989 – My neuro SALVATION

    Thank you Steven Goldberg!! My introduction to neuroanatomy, a BEAST OF A COURSE, was to end my first year of medical school. I actually ordered this version, not the 4th edition, to save a little $ (let’s face it, not much neuroanatomy is going to change in the course of a couple years from 3rd to 4th editions). This little book (and yes it is very small and thin) is CHOCK-FULL of the most highly important facts and concepts that stand between the reader and a solid foundational understanding of complex neurological pathways.

    At first, the chapters seem short, incomplete, and slightly random. However, one soon realizes that this book has no fluffy extras, no “padding”, if you will. Just repeat and remember every little golden crumb of knowledge you can gleam from this book. This book seriously served as my BIBLE of neuroanatomy… if it’s important enough to be in here, FOR GOODNESS SAKES, MEMORIZE. Faithfully internalize it, because you WILL see it again (and again and again!)

    My course examinations tested us to a high degree of detail, and needless to say I would have failed if I had relied ONLY on this book. For example, my course instructors emphasized the newly discovered pathways of the basal ganglia in extreme detail, while Dr. Goldman quickly glosses over the subject. That is simply not what this book offers. Likewise, the holy BIBLE will not tell you how to fill out a tax return… it will merely promise you SALVATION. (The chapter on brainstem is more precious than rubies. Go over it as many times as you can and DRAW the silly little cartoons that Dr. Goldman teaches you to draw! PRICELESS!)

    I ended the course in the top 10% of my class with a big shiny Honors grade as well as a 98th percentile Shelf exam (the rigorous standardized test set by the National Board of Medical Examiners). This book will not be forgotten, and I will be sure to revisit before I sit for my USMLE exams.

  24. jl0113 – This book saved me

    This is not the first book you should turn to if you’re just starting neuroanatomy. However, after learning the material, this book helped consolidate everything in a helpful way so I could visualize everything in my head. Otherwise, my brain would have just been full of random facts that didn’t connect very well, which makes it harder to memorize too. His diagrams are simple, but exactly what you want to explain the concept. He gives you tons of fun stories to memorize material as well. I also liked the clinical questions at the end of each section to test if I understood what I learned. I am completely amazed that the main points are all summarized so well in this tiny little book. He even has a CD to help you further, which I found to be excellent as well. I can’t say enough about how helpful this book is. I highly recommend it for a med student to go along with your normal neuroanatomy texts.

  25. RD – As Advertised

    This book is PERFECT for anyone in the medical field who wants to shave off all the fat regarding clinical neuroanatomy.

    This book is meant to be used as a supplemental study tool and not as a primary source for information. For those overwhelmed by the extreme detail of scientific neuroanatomy, this book gives a simplistic overview of what is critical information as well as a guide of subjects to focus on when reading for detail with a primary source.

    Of the Made Ridiculously Simple books I have read, I think this one is the best (including the famous Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple).

    The schematics in the book are perfect diagrams for what to look at in actual CT/MRI cross and sagittal sections, more of which can be found on the CD-Rom

    While I do wish it had a little more details of the pathway circuits and neurotransmitters involved, the point of the book is to eliminate all of those details.

    It may not be comprehensive, but it comes very very close.

  26. Shanghai Kid – Essential for Medical Students

    This skinny text is one of the few books that all medical students can read and benefit from. When I took neuroanatomy, it was regarded as the most difficult course in our first-year curriculum. Having read this book early in the course, and referring back to it several times, I got off to a great start. It won’t tell you eveything you need to know, nor in the depth you’ll need to know it. But 15 years ago, it was the most gentle introduction to neuroanatomy around; I’ll bet not much has changed.

  27. Jun Dong Moon – It’s a kind of magic

    I’m a emergency physician. In my junior residency,i had a hard time approaching the neurology patients, so needed neuroscience knowledge urgently. However most books i had met were tomes and time-consuming for me, also i had to get more back of neuroanatomy for understanding big books. Accidentally i started this book. it’s took only three days even in busy resident period. OH!!! It’s a magical experience. This book prevented me from being burned out and saved my day and also gave me self-confidence on the neurology. At last,I could understand – the notorious – “one and a half syndrome” which even Adam’s neurology failed to teach me. So fantastic. I couldn’t forget that feeling. I highly recommend this book for all beginner stuck by neurology.

  28. 4th Year Med – Awesome way to consolidate your learning

    I’m doing neuroscience as part of semester 4 of medicine at the University of Melbourne, Australia. I’ve only completed week 1 of this semester this week, but I’m finding this book to be such a big help.

    After having lectures and tutorials involving all aspects of neuroanatomy already, such as gross anatomy of the CNS, cerebral blood flow, meninges, etc; reading the corresponding chapters of this book really, really helps it all gel in your own mind. The book is written in a nice conversational tone, like sitting and having a casual chat with your lecturer about the topic. Knowledge that seems vague after studying a textbook, lecture notes, a neuroanatomy atlas… really falls into place when you read this book.

    I’d highly recommend this book to be used in this manner, as a consolidation tool as you’re studying with your neurology text, anatomy atlas, etc. It’s definitely not a “stand alone” text for a neuroanatomy course, I don’t think you’d grasp the material properly if you went about it that way.

  29. N.A. – This is the FIRST and ONLY place to start studying neuro!

    As a medical student, I suggest that this is the first place you go to learn about neuroanatomy. It gives you the basics and builds a foundation that you can build on. After a few hours with this book, I was weeks ahead of my classmates!

  30. Mary B. Davison – fun

    education made interesting. No one needs more words to read that don’t say anything new. No one needs more words to read that don’t say anything new.

  31. NM Mama – Thank heaven for this book

    In my graduate Neuropsychology course, we were expected to already be familiar with brain anatomy. I wasn’t. This book gave me a wonderful quick review and served as a reference through the rest of the course when I needed clarification on the location or purpose of a given structure. It is so well written in an easy-to-read style that it deserves a Pulitzer.

  32. Rafael Hachikyan – The appropriate foundation

    During my medical study I always saw 3 mountains for my eyes. The names of which were – Hematology, EKG and Neuroanatomy. With this book I found a good path through one of them. One can always add details to her knowledge but time -resistible foundation of clear concepts is needed first. I retained more N/A knowledge from this “simple” book than after all exhausting learning of sophisticated texts years before.

  33. Len901 – Solid

    Used this for my short neurology rotation as a MS3, comes in super handy. Easy to read and understand. Highly recommend.

  34. Gina B. – neuroanatomy for nurses

    Great Neuro anatomy reference in simple language.

  35. VINCENT E HARVILLE – The best neuroanatomy review book!

    Awesome review for a difficult subject.

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