With so many medical schools starting classes within the next few weeks, I thought I’d reblog some tips I had for last year’s incoming MS1s before I publish some tips for MS2s. This is what worked best for me, after lots of trial and error; pick and choose what is best for you. I know med school is stressful and there will always be a gunner or two, but the goal of your training should be to become a competent physician, and not to ace every exam. Good luck to all the incoming first years!
We don’t technically have a book list or a website that lists the books, because most people don’t use them. I’d imagine that most schools are like that, at least for the first year. Our profs’ notes are generally pretty good, so even though they may say that some books are “required” in the syllabi, it’s not necessary to have them to do well in the courses.
With that being said, there were several books that I used in this past year that I thought were really helpful.
-Everyone will say to get a Netter’s Atlas. It’s pretty much the gold standard, but one of the authors is actually our main professor so if there’s something in Netter’s that you don’t understand, she’s an incredible resource.
-They recommend a Grant’s Dissector–don’t buy it. There will be a group copy in the anatomy lab, but it’s not especially helpful for studying in class, and I didn’t find it very useful for lab either, because your instructor for the day will tell you how to go about the dissection, which is usually a bit different from Grant’s.
-I cannot recommend Rohen’s Color Atlas of Anatomy enough. It’s a compilation of pictures from expert dissections so you can see the same structures from many perspectives. I hated staying long hours in the lab, so this source was invaluable.
–BRS Anatomy was a great resource for practice questions; highly recommended.
I bought the High-Yield Embryo book and it was the only resource I needed besides the class notes.
-You’ll need a Sidman’s and Sidman’s at our school (one of our profs is also an author) which is a self-study workbook. Hold off on buying it though, since your MS2 mentor may give you theirs (I’m giving mine to my MS1).
-I used the High-Yield Neuroanatomy and that’s all I needed besides the notes.
Dr. K suggests Bates’ Guide to Physical Examination, which I’ve heard that most schools suggest, but I don’t think anyone used it. I didn’t.
-I don’t think many people bought/used an outside book, but I did. The one suggested by our profs was Ross and Pawlina’s Histology, and I thought it was really helpful. I did extremely well on the exams because I’d used more than just the slides provided in class, so I thought it was worth it. I only bought it in the beginning because I found it for dirt cheap on Amazon.
Biostats (Incorporated into ICM):
–High Yield Biostats was definitely worth it since our biostats is a self-study model.
–BRS Biochem for practice questions was helpful.
-Personally, this was the hardest class for me, so I felt like I needed a little extra help. I bought the Medical Physiology book they recommended and used it for practice questions and clarifying things I had a bit of trouble understanding.
–BRS Physiology was also great for practice questions.
-PreTest Physiology was also great, but I borrowed a copy from the Student Affairs office.
I also had a copy of First Aid (came with my AMA membership for free) that I used to review before exams.
That is all that I can think of. Books aren’t really necessary (except for Anatomy), but I do think the books I used to supplement my lecture notes definitely helped me to succeed this year.