Category Archives: Medical Books

Top Ten Books for First Year Medical Students

1. Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy:

You can not live without an atlas while you are studying gross anatomy. There are a number of atlases to choose from and choosing ‘the best atlas’ for med school depends on how you learn. Netter’s atlas is brightly colored with finely demarcated images.  There is very little text and the atlas focuses solely on great drawings.  This is my favorite. Continue reading

Best USMLE Books

1. First Aid for the USMLE Step 1:

I don’t know how they do it, but the First Aid people have an unbelievable ability to know exactly what is important to the people who write board questions.  First Aid is reprinted each year. I suggest buying one copy early in med school and study from it while you study for your other classes. Then, purchase the new copy when you are studying for Step 1.  First Aid is not sufficient for Step 1, but it should be required reading for all students as it highlights the stuff that you absolutely must know. Some students also recommend Kaplan’s MedEssentials for the USMLE Step 1 Top Ten Books for the USMLE Step 1  Continue reading


Useful Things to Have in Medical School

A few things that I believe is necessary and would be useful for you in your first two years of medical school.

1.A Good technology laptop or PC.

This is because the work cannot be managed on papers as they are in huge piles. So a laptop or computer would

be helpful in organizing all of your notes, otherwise your room would turn into a library of medical books. Obviously, laptops do have a disadvantage of having a smaller screen. But an external monitor attached would definitely work as you have two screens together. On one screen you can see the work and on others you can make assignments, or view videos at the same time.

2. Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease.

Our senior teacher once said that if you restrict a student for two years to stay in a room with pathology book, he would end up covering almost all the topic of Part 1. There is no one specific book in medical school, that is more than enough, but this Robbins book is pretty much better and almost discusses all the required topics for first two years. Almost all the students read this book as it is the most recommended book to any medical student.

3. Cell phone:

For nothing else, but to stay in touch with your schedule and emails, you should have a nice, user friendly cell phone, so you get an easy access to your emails. I do not exactly remember but I used to receive a bundle of emails daily. This is really a positive feature of cell phone, that you do not have to sit in front of computer every time you want to check your e-mails. Tod
4.A Fine:ay’s cell phones are obviously improving in technology that makes it easier for you to have a quick web access. If you want to search some medical phenomena or about patients cases available on the internet it is of great use. With the help of flashcards you can have quick access to huge information in seconds.

The main point is here is ‘fine’. Fine a good model stethoscope, not the basic model but a reasonable price model that is above basic. Do not jump to $500 stethoscope, that is electronic one: 1) It is a stupid thing to have 2) Right now, it is not the good choice. 3) You might forget it somewhere.

A fine stethoscope would be definitely easier to use and it would definitely perform the purpose of hearing clearly.

5.A Comfortable bed:

You probably would suffer from lack of sleep, so your bed should be comfortable enough to provide you good sleep, even for few hours.

6. Questions and reference books:

Thousands of questions and review books are available everywhere. Some stop students don’t consult those books as it is too early to use them for the first two years: The confusion that may arise is:

Students would prefer to study review book as their main course books and would miss the topics that actual textbook focuses on and also what their professor discussed in the lecture.

Students main concentration then restricts to reference books rather then they should focus on their actual course and try to score good in them.

These factors sometimes moves students towards the failure. Although test questions and review books can be referred in regular test preparation during first two years of your medical school. The main purpose of using these reference books and questions is to get yourself prepared for the actual exam. This only gives the student an idea about that actual paper so the student is not nervous during the exam. One benefit of consulting such kind of books is that sometimes complex things are described in a good way to have a more basic knowledge about a particular thing. Rather than wasting time and searching new things, discuss with old students. As they have already gone through the examination stuff, so they would guide you better and you can take their notes as well for better understanding. But do not read them as the only source of studying. First study your own lecture notes and later review them in an intention to gain some extra points from the previous students’ notes.

7) A well described anatomy atlas.

I believe that a well labeled atlas are extremely useful to help you out in your entire course. There are few textbooks including atlas. But personally I do not prefer them as they are not too detailed and easy to use. It is much heavier to carry around. So a separate atlas would be a great idea.

8) Paying extra for your medical school:

Recently , Archives of internal medicine  observed that those students who prefer to study at highly paid schools like top 10 medical primary care schools are unable to produce good results quality wise than those who have studied into normal category schools. So do not focus on schools that are charging you double.


Essential books for the first 3 years of medical school

this is a list of essential books for medical students in the first 3 years of medical school


1-Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple (Edition 4) by Mark Gladwin

This is an extremely useful book for anyone studying infectious diseases or bacteriology in medical school. It is clear, conscience, and it has fantastic pictures and memorizing tips to help in learning and retaining the material. Would reccomend this text, and the others in the series.

2-Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease: With STUDENT CONSULT Online Access, 8e (Robbins Pathology)


This book has everything it takes to be considered a really good book. Though the text is quite dense, you can easily understand it. The topics are thoroughly explained, and there is always a good scheme to help understand them. Overall a very good pathology book, which I’m happy to have.

3-Rapid Interpretation of EKG’s, Sixth Edition


Dr. Dubin’s classic manual has become the most popular EKG text among members of the medical profession. Dr. Dubin’s book takes a lot of the stress out of the formidable task of learning EKGs through his lighthearted and systematic lesson-based approach. This book covers the basics of EKGs, and provides helpful lessons on rate, rhythm, and basic arrythmias.

4-Rapid Review Pathology: With STUDENT CONSULT Online Access, 3e

A review book without leaving out the important details. I can’t say enough about this book. It systematically reviews pathology, including the etiology, pathophysio, clinical, and lab finding. Very through, yet not overwhelming.

5-First Aid for the USMLE Step 1, 2013 (First Aid USMLE)


This is necessary to prepare for the USMLE Step 1 Exam. But there are numerous non-trivial errors. It is surprising that such a widely used resource that changes so little from year-to-year is so rife with errors.
I would recommend using this book as a content outline for what to expect on the USMLE step 1 exam. I would not recommend using it as a primary source because of the numerous errors.

6-Atlas of Human Anatomy: with Student Consult Access, 5e (Netter Basic Science)


excellent drawings and images, bright color and great detail for learning human anatomy. netter is the gold standard of anatomy atlases

7-Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews: Biochemistry, Fourth Edition (Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews Series)

Astounding text. Great graphics. For someone who does not particularly enjoy chemistry, this is your text. Everything is broken down. Supplemental online questions are good. The questions posit real world medical scenarios. Feels very applicable.


8-Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews: Pharmacology, 4th Edition


Great reference book! Graphics are useful (especially for quick look at common adverse effects). Gives succinct description of how drugs in a class work and examples of drugs in a class.