Mythic Dawn acolyte
10+ Year Member
Aug 29, 2005
Gilroy, CA
  1. Attending Physician
Would anyone please make recommendations on a good introductory textbook for a (now fourth year) medical student interested in entering the fine field of psychiatry?

I am not looking for a review book (which I used for the clerkship/shelf exams), this not for exam preparation. In fact I just finished Step 2, so I have no more major exams (save one neurology shelf in February) that I will be studying for. I am looking for a book that will deepen my understanding and knowledge of the disease processes, treatment options etc., something to bridge the gap between BRS psychiatry/First-aid psychiatry and the $400, 2-volume 1000-page tomes that I may have decorating my office bookshelf someday. And of course something that will eventually prepare me for residency and impress on the wards :p

In particular, I noticed a nice little book in our school's book store, "Clinical Psychiatry Essentials", by Laura Weiss Roberts. Has anyone else read this book? I don't want to plunk $40 down without some opinions though. Also I've heard good things about the good old Lange Current Diagnosis and Treatment: Psychiatry book.


Former jolly good fellow
Feb 8, 2004
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  1. Attending Physician
I haven't read the book you mentioned.

The top 2 books that most people talk about are Kaplan & Saddock's Psychiatry & the MGH Board Review manual. while the latter is really geared towards studying & passing the boards, its is in several ways superior to K&S.

From my own opinion, while K&S are good books, they have several problems. Each book left me wanting the others. The biggest book is too big for practical purposes, though it is an excellent reference book, and is very comprehensive. The other books are just too little, and not well organized. E.g. you want to read up on a medication, that info is spread everywhere in the book. Its as if its a PC in a PC (fat guy) next to Apple (the young guy) commercial.
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Angy Old Man
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 9, 2008
  1. Attending Physician
I think this is a great overall introductory text for the interested med student:

Have heard good things but haven't seen it myself.

I own a last edition Synopsis of Psychiatry which I think is a good length and format. I'm going back and forth between buying the new one versus the 'Concise textbook of psychiatry' same authors, but a little more condensed.
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