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Helpful reference books during medical school


Full Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 19, 2004
Sacramento, CA
    Has anyone found this book useful during med school? It's my birthday coming up and several family members have insisted they buy me books that are helpful for school.

    One book I have been looking at is The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, 17th Edition.

    I also have been looking at Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice.

    I'm also looking for some anatomy flashcards. Has anyone tried the Gray's anatomy cards?

    Thanks in advance for any help you might have on this, including other recommendations.


    Attending in Emergency Medicine
    Moderator Emeritus
    15+ Year Member
    Aug 6, 2003
    1. Attending Physician
      I have Gray's Anatomy- the book. It is not very readable for most people and the illustrations are mediocre.

      I would recommend the following if you are set on getting reference books:

      Rohen Atlas for Anatomy
      Moses' Atlas
      Big Moore for Anatomy (there is also a mini-moore edition that is much smaller and more portable)
      Guyton and Hall for Physio (Berne and Levy is not nearly as readable in my opinion)
      Marks' Biochemistry is a pretty good read
      Wheater's Histology and Ross' Histology are both excellent
      Grant's Dissector is the standard--but check what edition your school is going to use

      As far as flashcards go, there are several varieties including Gray's, Netter's, BRS. I liked the BRS but they are much more clinical in nature than the others. You should go to your medical school bookstore and take a look and see what you like.

      I believe the Merck Guide is available online- try a google search.
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