Thursday, February 9, 2012

Top 8 Books I Used in Med School

This is a list of the best 8 books I purchased during med school. Why 8? Because I started making a list and when I finished, there were 8 books on it.

1. Surgical Recall

For most rotations, students would argue which book was best. Was it Blueprints, First Aid, etc? But for surgery, the choice was obvious. This little book had everything and fit conveniently in my white coat pocket, causing my shoulders to sag down only 1.5 inches.

2. Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple

I think I still have a good understanding of micro due to this book. The only problem is that I still remember some of the mnemonics better than what the mnemonics actually mean. For example:

Be serious, Dr. Goofball!

I know this has something to do with B cereus, but what? Also, whenever I prescribe Amantadine, I think of "a man to dine" but also can't remember what it means.

3. BRS Physiology

This book allowed me to do well in physio without attending one lecture. Which is great, because the lectures were hella boring.

4. Dubin's Rapid Interpretation of EKG

I was an idiot about practically everything when I started internship, but thanks to this book, I knew my EKGs.

Cons: Dubin is a child pornographer.

5. Pharm cards

I realize these aren't a book exactly (or at all). I think they're based on Lippincott's Pharm book. But these cards helped me so much, they deserve a shout out.

6. Felson's Principles of Chest Roentgenology

There's no better book to help you learn how to read a chest X-ray. And maybe by the end, you'll know what the hell "roentgenology" is.

7. First Aid for Step 1

If you're a med student, you must buy this book. End of story.

8. Step 2 Secrets

This book basically summed up all of third year in 350 pages.

I went to med school a long time ago. I mean, I think dinosaurs were still roaming the earth back then, so you know that if I remember a book as being great, it must have made quite an impression on me. And I guess there were others that you sort of had to buy, like Netters, but I just didn't have the same kind of love for Netters. Sorry, Netters fans.

I could make a similar list of books that were useless, that I regret buying, but it would probably just say ROBBINS in big red letters.


  1. cool and creepy! my list is nearly identical!! only difference is I never used number 6, and I would add Kaplan's Master the Boards for the Step 3 (useful for step 2 and step 3)

  2. Hahaha this hasn't changed much!! Except for #6... Never heard of that one before!

  3. It's very telling that 6/8 of those books are currently on my bookshelf.

  4. Those are all my bibles as well (except the pharm cards) and I'd have to add Goljan's rapid review pathology (gold!)

  5. haha! I'm an M2 and currently am reviewing Micro Made Ridic Simple in preparation for boards. "Be serious Dr. Goofball" is what you tell your attending when she tells you to use abx treat a pt with B. cereus food poising (because the symptoms are caused by the enterotoxin, not by the bacteria). and Amantidine has something to do with a man taking his jacket off to sit down at the dinner table...because the drug uncoats the virus. or something

  6. God why did everyone say we HAD to get Robbins? Such a waste.

  7. Amantadine = a man to dine takes his coat off. Amantadine prevents the virus from taking its coat off once it's in the host cell so that it can't release it's infectious DNA. Thank you First Aid!

  8. i'm not allowed to use prebought med cards.. i have to make them all. And I don't mind but 94 of 'em over 2 weeks doesn't really aid in memorisation, then its just a typing exercise. I've saved this list in case i ever get to med school

  9. The "be serious" mnemonic refers to what you should say to your intern if s/he tells you (the medical student) to treat a B. cereus infection, since it is self-resolving :)

  10. Netters is my life... maybe he only gets the love from PT students?

  11. Oxford clinical handbooks were by far my best. They help answer those tough ward round questions especially when you are standing behind where the consultant can't see you.

  12. Today I had my last exams and the whole week I have been suffering, I read this post yesterday and "S" posted a comment about Amantadine, I was like "ha, that's a great mnemonic" my last question on the exam asked which agent prevents the virus from uncoating!!!!!!! and I got it right!!!!!!! I am so happy, even if I fail this test I am happy I got that question.

  13. I bought the Pocket Guide to Robbins, or whatever it was, and it was still a fat book even for my white coat pocket. Still didn't read one page out of it!

  14. Holy crap! Did not know that about Dubin. Heh - a hospitalist I'm shadowing recommended that title to me. Wonder if he'd heard about that back history....