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Starting PGY-1 - Book recommendations?

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by Dr JPH, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned Banned 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2000
    Here are a few I am looking at:

    The Surgical Review (Atluri, Kaiser, Karakousis, Porrett)
    The Physiologic Basis of Surgery (O'Leary)
    ABSITE Review (Fiser)
    Rush University Medical Center Review of Surgery

    I already have Surgery: Scientific Principles & Practice by Greenfield

    Any suggestions?

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  3. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    Pretty good selection there.

    In general, I think you want:

    - a good text that you CAN and WILL read
    - a handbook to have in your pocket
    - a review book for the ABSITE
    - an atlas

    For texts, I found Greenfield a little tought going; good basic science but not enough clinical stuff. I much preferred Cameron or the new ACS book.

    There are lots of good handbooks, but as I've said here many times before my favs were the Mount Reid and The Cleveland Clinic Surgical Patient Management.

    The Fiser book just came out a few years ago, but I thought it a pretty good review. Rush or the SESAP books are good for Q&A type questions.

    As for atlases, Zollinger is probably the best IMHO, but for something more portable Skandalakis and Skandalakis is pretty good as well.

    Your program will probably have a "home" book which they suggest - I would suggest waiting until you get there before purchasing any more books; they may lecture from or use chapters from a certain book for educational sessions.
  4. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Gone Walkabout!
    Definitely agree with the above!

    For PGY-1 year, I found Mont Reid was great. My program gave me Sabiston's so that was taken care of. Cameron has been my best reading material since PGY-3 year.

    Fiser was my chief when I was PGY-1 so he's family and I like his books.

    We do SESAP over a brew or two for group study. Surprisingly, you can retain a fair amount with an ETOH chaser. Those questions are good for discussion. Share this resource with someone and cut costs.

    Use Zolinger in the library but like S & S for size.
  5. sponch

    sponch Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Palo Alto, CA
    mont reid vs. washington manual... any takers?
  6. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    As above, my vote goes to Mount Reid.
  7. surgical06

    surgical06 Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2006
    physiologic basis of surgery by oleary

    i'm still a medical student (IV), but throughout electives and independent reading, i've found the book to be a little dry, not enough surgical correlation with topics discussed. i guess i found it useless or i wasn't good enough to see its usefullness.
  8. IFNgamma

    IFNgamma Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2006
    Is the Washington Manual Intern Survival Guide any good for a surgical intern? It's supposed to be good, but I don't know if that only applies to IM.

  9. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Gone Walkabout!
    I am a huge Mont Reid fan. That book came in so handy when I was a PGY-1. Don't forget Chamberlain's "Surgical Intern Survival Guide". This book costs about $7 and has loads of good stuff that fits in the pocket of your scrubs. This book helped me when my Mont Reid was in my labcoat that was hanging on a nail outside of the OR.
  10. Celiac Plexus

    Celiac Plexus Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 9, 2002
    "Surgery On Call" Lefor, Gomella

    This book carried me through intern year. I highly recommend it. It's lighter/smaller than the other options.

    Greenfield, & Sabiston seem to be the big 2 textbooks.... Their pretty similar. I have both and prefer Greenfield. The first 10 or eleven chapters of Greenfield should be read and memorized during the first few months of your intern year. These are all basic science chapters and are pure gold for understanding the basis for surgical clinic issues. These chapters also hold many of the answers to the 60% of your Inservice exam (pgy-1 and 2 levels).

    For operative anatomical books I recommend Chasson's for the night before read. It has very good descriptions, and good anatomical drawings. It is limited by the fact that there are few advanced laparoscopic descriptions.

    For laparoscopic books... well I haven't found a good one yet. However there are 2 very good video resources that I use: is a free web site with videos of most lap operations. And SAGES has a video series that is excellent, but pricey.

    For dictations: Hoballah's "Operative dictations in general and vascular surgery". No one really teaches you how to dictate a good op note. This book will teach you. It is essentially a book of op notes, and you can use them as templates for your first notes until you get familiar enough with the operations to free style it.

    As far as the inservice prep goes... this subject has been posted about ad nauseum but I offer my view anyway. Don't read a textbook to prepare for the exam. Read something like Makary's General Surgery Review: (safe Answers For The Written Boards And Absite), and Fiser's ABSITE review. The absite contains many repeat topics and so you should start your studying by nailing down these topics first. This will ensure that you obtain at least an average score. Additional reading will allow you to nail the curve making questions. Avoid the RUSH review, and SAFE Answers for the Boards, and SESAP as a junior resident. These are not good uses of time for ABSITE purposes. They are, otoh, excellent materials for the senior ABSITE, and mock orals (if your program has this).

    Best of luck.
  11. beastmaster

    beastmaster Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2003
    I looked at some of those one day in our library (Rush Review, etc), wanted to see what the fuss was about. Be careful buying them blind. Many of the review books are just packed with questions in the "All of the following statements about ____ are true except:" or "Which of the following [extremely long] statements about ___ is true" formats. For the prices the books charged it seemed kind of insulting.

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