I’ve been thinking about this post for quite a while now, and I have finally decided how I want to approach it. If you have any suggestions, please comment or message me! So, when I started medical school 18 months ago all I had available to me was a crazy long list of textbooks recommended by the university. It has been an uphill battle figuring out what textbooks are helpful and which are less than helpful. So this is my masterpost of resources I’ve used for medical school thus far, organised by systems!
You’ll need a good anatomy atlas, physiology text and pathophysiology book as a bare minimum. Most universities also guide you towards a clinical skills book of some sort.
Rohen and Yokochi “Color Atlas of Anatomy: A Photographic Study of the Human Body”
I used an old version of this book, and it was amazing for our human dissection block, I would strongly recommend it.
Boron “Medical Physiology”
Guyton and Hall “Textbook of Medical Physiology”
I used a combination of these two, Boron can be very heavy, so I only used it for topics I had a really good grasp of and wanted to know more about. I would recommend Guyton over Boron if you can only get one.
Robbins and Cotran “Pathologic Basis of Disease”
This is one of the best books ever written. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Clinical and Practical Skills:
Talley and O’Connor “Clinical Examination”
This was recommended by my university. It is a good textbook, however I’ve recently discovered:
Thomas and Monaghan “Oxford Handbook of Clinical Examination and Practical Skills”
and I personally prefer this, but it is much more concise, so Talley is great for all the background information.
Lilly “Pathophysiology of Heart Disease”
This textbook is fantastic, very easy to read and covered all of our cardiovascular block thoroughly.
West “Respiratory Physiology: The Essentials”
This book can be a bit hit and miss. I really didn’t like respiratory physiology, so I struggled a bit with this one, I used a combination of Guyton and Hall, and West. For pathophysiology you can’t go wrong with Robbins and Cotran.
I didn’t use a specialised book for this block. For physiology I used Boron, which was insanely hard as a first year student. I also used Guyton and Hall at the end of the block, which was much better. So I’d definitely recommend Guyton and Hall for physiology and Robbins and Cotran for pathophysiology.
Chew “Crash Course Gastrointestinal System 3e”
I really liked this book for this book, I thought it covered the hepatic system very well, overall it was very easy to read and understand. This book and Guyton and Hall if you wanted to supplement it would be great. As always, Robbins and Cotran for indepth pathophysiology.
Endocrine and Reproductive
The little orange book (TBA)
This was one of my favourite blocks! The university recommended Greenspan’s “Basic and Clinical Endocrinology”, which for what we needed was probably too much. I found a fantastic little orange book at the library, which I will need to go get the name of, so keep an eye on this if you need a good endocrinology book.
Kaplan and Saddock’s “Synopsis of Psychiatry”
This is actually a really great book for any psychiatry you might do. We only used it for four weeks, but I’d definitely recommend hiring a copy if you can!
Neurology and Neuroanatomy
Yogarajah “Crash Course Neurology, 4e”
Fix “BRS Neuroanatomy”
This has been an incredibly hard block to find a good text for, at a reasonable price. These two have been very helpful, and I find them easy to read. Only time will tell if it has been enough to pass!
Jenkins “Hollinshead’s Functional Anatomy of the Limbs and Back”
This is the most amazing textbook for any block of all time ever. Literally. It is so good! I’ve used a combination of this book, and:
Moore and Dalley’s “Clinically Oriented Anatomy”
for our musculoskeletal block. It’s been absolutely fantastic. I’ve enjoyed it so much! I would also recommend investing in some quality flashcards. I have:
Hansen “Netter’s Anatomy Flash Cards”
Which have been great, another really great resource has been WinkingSkull.com, which you do have to pay for, but it is helpful!
So, there are a few other resources I’ve used that have been very helpful. Mostly online databases and websites but I thought it would be handy to have them. Many (most?) universities have subscriptions to them so try your university library website!
Everything you ever needed about anything in medicine
Best Practice: www.bestpractice.bmj.com
This is my favourite resource. Ever. It goes through signs, symptoms, risk factors, diagnostics, differentials, everything. It is a small slice of heaven in medical school.
Lancet Review Articles
There were a really great series on Immunology in The Lancet, I would strongly recommend trying to find them for a concise overview of immunology
Life In The Fast Lane: www.lifeinthefastlane.com
Great series on ECGs!
These guys are great for understanding what you’re actually supposed to be seeing on any radiological film. I’ve been using it a lot for musculoskeletal, looking at Le Fort fractures, etc.
So I just borrowed a friend’s copy of Toronto, but I believe there may be online access. Maybe an online version. It’s great for an overview and is a little more clinically focused. I really liked it for gastrointestinal, psychiatry and neurology.
I know I’ve probably missed a few things, I’ll add them as I think of them but I hope this helps a few pre-clinical medical students out there! If it’s helpful I’ll keep you posted as I move into my clinical years on new texts and resources I find helpful!