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Internal Medicine Text Recommendations

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by Sunnybunz76, Mar 1, 2003.

  1. Sunnybunz76

    Sunnybunz76 New Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    St Clair Shores, MI
    I am having a hard time deciding which text to use for Internal Medicine. I am in between Cecil Essesntials of Medicine, Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment by Tierney, Medicine-Fishman, NMS Medicine or Blueprints. Does anybody have any suggestions?
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  3. Samir Desai

    Samir Desai Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2000
    Houston, TX
    When seeking advice about which books to use for any rotation, it's probably best to get input from students, interns, and residents who have successfully completed the rotation. Most helpful would be the input of folks at your medical school.

    I'd like to give you my thoughts as an Internal Medicine attending. There are basically three types of books that are commonly used in the Internal Medicine clerkship:

    1) Comprehensive texts of Internal Medicine

    Examples include Harrison's, Cecil's, Kelly's. Because they are so comprehensive, these books are long and fairly expensive. It is quite difficult to get through such a text during a clerkship. For these reasons, students often turn to paperback texts of Internal Medicine. Having said this, I still encourage my students to consult one of the comprehensive texts because you have to remember that your attending has probably read one of these texts. He or she is going to be the one asking you questions during rounds. Therefore, it's probably in your best interests to use them but perhaps not as your primary source.

    2) Paperback texts of Internal Medicine

    The texts that you mentioned are all examples of paperback texts of Internal Medicine. In contrast to the comprehensive texts, these texts are more manageable. As for deciding which one to use, one major factor to keep in mind is your own learning style. Too often (I know I was guilty of this when I was a student), we buy books at the recommendation of others without giving enough thought as to whether the book is a good fit for you.

    3) Handbooks

    As you know, there are a number of handbooks that are available. I often encourage my students to initially start with a handbook because the information is easier to access when you are on the run (unless you have a Palm) and then turn to one of the larger textbooks of Internal Medicine. As to which one to use, it's a matter of selecting one that fits with your learning style. Popular choices include Wash manual of medical therapeutics, Ferri's Guide, Saint-Francis guide, etc.

    There are also other handbooks that will help you with certain aspects of the rotation. For example, if you are having difficulties with working up patients (symptom-oriented), lab tests, EKGs, X-rays, etc., - there are handbooks devoted to each of these areas.

    As you progress through the rotation, the key thing to ask yourself is whether your resources are meeting your needs. Are you finding the information you need to take care of your patients? Is this the right book to prepare you for the exam? Are you able to answer the attending's questions in rounds?

    The final piece of advice I can give you is to be flexible. In other words, adapt as the rotation progresses. For example, if the attending keeps asking you about abnormal lab tests but your sources are not providing you with the answers, consider getting a handbook on lab test interpretation.

    I hope this advice helps. Good luck with the IM rotation and hopefully my response will encourage others to reply to you as well.

    Samir Desai, MD
    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Baylor College of Medicine
  4. iamubiquitous

    iamubiquitous Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2003
    Best I have ever seen -- especially for your purposes.

    Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine 0433059446

    Cambridge uses it
  5. iamubiquitous

    iamubiquitous Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2003
    0 4 4 3 0 5 9 4 4 6
  6. Brewster

    Brewster Brand new know nothing MD 7+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2003
    I used Cecil's Essentials of Medicine (aka Baby Cecil's, the paperback version referred to above) and really liked it. Short enough to get through during the rotation, but comprehensive enough in most repsects. I also looked at Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment periodically and liked it. For pocket manuals, the Ferri guide is comprehensive, but the MGH guide is a bit more manageable and also pretty good (although lacking the derm and neuro).
  7. iamubiquitous

    iamubiquitous Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2003
    punky reminds me that I forgot the ALL important handbook.

    I have had 4 big name handbooks to date.

    There can be > NO substitute < for the OXFORD MAN OF CLINICAL MED.

    P E R I O D

    You will not realize what a gem this book truely is for weeks after you purchase it. When the other hanbooks fail to find the needed info in a pinch this one almost invariably comes through.

    Attendings and upper levels love it -- they will be looking for you when they need quick facts.

    There is an american edition with US citations,
    US focus, and free of British english.

    Seriously, If you dont buy it now and you ever see it later you will
    be in my multiple handbook boat.
  8. Olanzapine

    Olanzapine Banned Banned

    Apr 28, 2002
    5-HT and D receptors
    Current all the way. I have Cecil's, Harrison's, and Current, and Current is the only one I opened throughout my internal medicine rotation. It is written very well, very concise, leaves out the extraneous stuff you read about in Harrison's, while providing more pertinent information for pt care then Cecil's. I've even found that most o fthe attending pimp questions can be answered by reading current the night before. No medical student should be without a current.

    For the test, if it is a shelf exam, blueprints or nms are fine. NMS is difficult to read cover to cover, but blueprints just goes over basics. I used blueprints and pretest and did alright on my shelf, pretest was actually the most helpful book for me. I woudl go with blueprints, but realize the best place to study for your shelf is by doing your floor work (ie they are very specific management questions that you will either have seen and know how to answer or not seen and won't know how to answer).
  9. ERnelly

    ERnelly Junior Member

    Mar 21, 2003
    Current's is great for a quick but thorough reference and for reviewing hot topics. I didn't think Blue Prints was helpful at all--too simple. If you are looking for a quickie, HIgh Yield was better. I recommend doing Pretest before taking the shelf.
  10. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2001
    I agree with the general recommendation: Current is awesome! It is also very very helpful for family practice.

    However, I did have a copy of Oxford Manuel of Medicine. I generally think that these manuals (including Wash U, and others) are useless. The reason is that is out there. If I have a computer, I can find info faster that way. Plus, these manuals really don't tell you much about why and what. they only tell you this sign or lab test = something... The only way that things will stick and the best way to impress your attendings and residents is knowing the "reasons" behind doing certain tests or the "repercussion" of certain physical findings. Uptodate does it beautifully while all the manuals fail in this aspect.

    Save yourself the money on several manuals. Instead use that money to subscribe to uptodate and you will get out of it.
  11. mrpeters714

    mrpeters714 Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 6, 2002
    Here's a second for the uptodate recommendation.

    When I did my internal med rotation, I found that trumped just about any other source of info when I needed to know about a disease fast. It's also more "up to date" than text books can ever be, as it is updated continually.

    Costs alot however. The three med students on my team each sequentially singed up for a demo acount, then shared our passwords. We all walked around with piles of uptodate print outs bulging from our pockets.

  12. Brewster

    Brewster Brand new know nothing MD 7+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2003
    I agree...uptodate is fantastic. The hospitals I rotated in all had subscriptions, which was nice.

    However, I found it helpful to have a pocket reference as well for looking up stuff that occurred to me at the last minute or when there was no computer nearby.

    I also liked having a textbook since I did not have uptodate at home. I also found textbooks psychological easier for preparing for the shelf exam since I could look at it and say "That is what I have to know" as opposed to uptodate where you can just search and search and search and never reach the end.
  13. Rads Resident

    Rads Resident Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Nov 25, 2002
    For medical student rotations, less is more. If your staff tells you otherwise, they have no clue what they're talking about. Seriously. They didn't have the vast array of concise review-style textbooks back when they trained. Plus, think about it. You're rotating for 2 or 3 months ... why get a comprehensive text that could be used for a career.

    Plus, don't forget The Wolf Files. I just had to sneak that one in.
  14. Russel

    Russel Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 16, 2003
    - current
    - medicine recall
    i think these two books is more than enough...

    good luck....

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