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    So I'm bored and decided to include some reviews of books I have bought and are in use on my bookshelf as it is a reasonably common question in the summer months/before going to uni, usually something along the lines of "ZOMG!! WHAT BOOKS SHOULD I BUY!!". As always, I will advocate the party line of buying nothing, yes nothing, until you go to university and look at all the books available in the library, as unlike school for all you school leavers, there is no real "core" textbook. It is down to personal preference and style.

    So, here goes!

    PS Current students/Drs./mods would be great if you can add your own.

    Preclinical Medicine

    Essential Clinical Anatomy-Moore and Agur
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    Becca-Sarah: Recommended book for Aberdeen anatomy. Don't buy it, it's . The diagrams make you sit there with your head twisted 270 degrees trying to figure out what the hell you're looking at. 2/10

    Seconded-digitalis

    Netter's Anatomy Flashcards
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    Becca-Sarah: Awesome. Perfect for grabbing a region of flashcards, sticking them on the provided ring, and dumping in your handbag for opportunistic revision (and disgusting friends by showing diagrams of dissected penises in the pub). 8/10

    Anatomy Colouring Book
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    Becca-Sarah: 10/10. We are wallpapering our flat with photocopies and arming ourselves with Crayolas.

    Greys Anatomy for Students
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    This book is a modern, updated version of the classic Gray's Anatomy, presenting students with revised, computer generated artwork and detailed text. This book has seen me through preclinical medicine and always proves useful for reading up on any relevant anatomy that may turn up on the wards. The artwork is crisp, colourful and elegantly drawn, including enough detail without getting bogged down. Unlike many of its peers, Grays for Students does not have artwork drawn from dissection, but it has computer generated artwork. This I find can be a benefit as well as a downside, as you do not actually see say fat overlying tissue, or that it does not give you the illusion of looking into a body. I prefer the artwork as it is though, as it is much more clearer than someone elses line drawings.

    Also included are radiographic images of angiograms, CT, Xray drawing clinical correlations to the anatomy.


    (testicle :teehee:)

    Rating: 8/10

    Wheater's Functional Histology
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    This bad boy is a massive gloryfest of photomicroscopy. The printers must have bulk buyed the world's stock of photo paper to print this book! Coming in at 448 pages, it covers all of the histology that you will need for your entire life including a career in histopathology. It must be noted that there is no histopathology here, just normal physiological slides.

    An excellent book for what it sets out to do, rather sober and dull text to read however. More for the pictures than anything else, useful for anatomy spotters.

    Personally, I would not buy this book but more take it out of the library to loan because the amount of time that you will need to be learning histology in any detail is a small part of the medical course.
    Score: 7/10


    Clinically Orientated Anatomy by Moore and Dalley
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    Helena suggests for clinically applied, rather than gross dissection anatomy.


    Essential Cell Biology]
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    Chimpyang: Useless until you get to iBSc year - if you do anything vaguely involving a cell - then it gets quite important, although the depth to which you need to know stuff means you've be trawling for reviews anyhow. Although the happiest textbook cover I've seen for a LONG time. Preclin = 2/10, Cell based iBSc = 6/10

    Pocock and Richards: Human Physiology
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    Chimpyang: Snorefest for me, the text is a little on the small side and the writing is a little dry, but explains the content really well - also bonus as it covers the ESR systems that UCL wants for 2nd year but in a drier, more technical way than the recommended textbook. 7/10
    Jesssy!: Was the one UCL recommended, but I really like it. It has illustrations, good explanations etc etc. The only problem with it is the index. I've found myself like a couple of times, because when you look up a specific word and go to the page it tells you to, sometimes it's not even on that page... maybe I've been unlucky...

    I'd give it about 8/10.


    McMinn's Clinical Atlas of Human Anatomy
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    I'm No Superman: It's amazing. near 400 pages worth of cadaver pics useful for DR prep, OSPE prep and for your own personal curiosity too.
    Helena:Yeah, McMing's is good for revision - just cover up the labels and work around the pages trying to say what everything is yourself

    Dean and Pedginton Vol. 1 2 and 3
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    Chimpyang: Fairly good anatomy books - things go by at a million miles per hour but if you can follow the descriptions - you do learn from it. If anyone has bothered reading the introduction - it is also a colouring book - pretty much all the diagrams in mine have been coloured. Also - contains MCQs that come up in UCL exams. However, weak in description on the larynx and pelvic area. 7.5/10

    BRS Pathology

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    I only bought this US published book a few months ago, when really I should have had it in second year. Kicking myself that I didn't discover it earlier! My flatmate also bought a copy since she liked it so much! Most pathology textbooks look like something that you would use as a murder weapon and I think that puts a lot of people off. This book covers the entire spectrum of pathology, only focusing on the useful details and uses a lot of real specimen pictures, which is also a plus. It avoids big blocks of text, instead focusing on short and easily remembered lines. It does go into a lot of obscure illnesses that I don't think we are expected to know, as it is aimed for USMLE prep but it does cover the important points. Note, this is a book purely on pathology, it does not cover any actual medicine on the topic.

    I use it pretty much every day to read up on unknown disease seen on the ward, as you can cover all the relevant points of an entire disease in just a few lines.

    Downsides could be that it is not detailed enough for a full PBL writeup or such.

    Rating: 8/10


    General and Systemic Pathology
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    Helena: I used this for my clinical pathology exams - I find it much more readable and less heavy (physically and academically!) than Robbins.


    Basic Concepts in Pharmacology: A Student's Survival Guide
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    Again, another American book. A5 sized, very readable. Written as if the author is speaking to you directly and follows a novel approach. Key concepts are boxed. If you understand the concept, you skip to the next box. Lets you fill your knowledge bit by bit, great for revision or just a textbook. The detail it goes into is clinically orientated, you will not find out how each drug works in terms of pharmacokinetics, uptake, receptor activity, but a more general overview. The author makes this very clear from the start.

    The book starts right from the basics with pharmacokinetics, moving onto ANS and then dives into treatment of specific conditions e.g. heart failure, hypertension, diabetes etc. Very useful for PBLs/ward based drug reviews.

    Downsides: Not as detailed as its main competitor, Rang and Dale. (However, it is clinically orientated and is marketed as a review book).

    Score: 7/10

    Rang and Dales' Pharmacology
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    Democracy: Can be too wordy in places and tends to overcomplicate matters sometimes, and has a bit of a weird layout. Though still highly recommended for its decent explanations. 8/10

    Chimpyang: Very very good for it, very wordy but you do understand what went on afterwards - although it's a library borrow rather than a purchase. 7/10

    Integrated Pharmacology
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    Democracy: Use this when Rang and Dale's is a bit too complicated, e.g. I found it easier to understand drug metabolism using this than RD. Can be a bit brief on some points and often doesn't go into much detail when dealing with mechanisms of action. 7/10

    Medical Pharmacology at a Glance
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    Chimpyang: Once you've digested the Rang and Dale chapter - this is THE revision book. There is a lot of info crammed into each picture and is very useful once it comes to revision - covers all the necessary topics for UCL at least. Only loses 0.5 for only being in green or black false colour. 9.5/10

    Human Reproduction at a Glance
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    Chimpyang: Old edition - not that great - given how awesome the rest of the at a glance series generally is. Saving grace is the description of sex - which is so dry and awkward that it's quite funny. Newer edition have removed the references to 'objects' entering the vagina - going for 'penis' instead. 3/10


    Guyton and Hall's Physiology
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    Democracy:A beast of a textbook. Will cover all the bases. 9/10

    Clinical Medicine

    Kumar and Clark's Clinical Medicine
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    The most hyped textbook of all time (well, at least at BL). I, like 90% of my year rushed out to buy it in Freshers week. Since then, I used it for PBL for the first six months until I found better and easier sources and then it was a comfortable footrest under my table.

    This is a weighty tome. It has over 1100 pages and is no fun to carry around. The upsides: it has everything to do with internal medicine. No jokes. People revise for the MRCP using this book apparently. It has a LOT of text and a lot of rather innovative diagrams and artwork.

    Downsides: Huge blocks of texts. I can't be arsed reading through most of it. Not enough detail on certain topics that I came across. I believe the latest edition that I don't have is a little more bearable however. No speciality topics (paeds/o&g/ortho etc).

    Score: 5/10.
    Becca-Sarah: I have it, I hate it, but I don't like Davidsons any better... K&C just goes into crazy detail and it's far too big! 5/10

    Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine
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    The BEES KNEES of medicine. Starting off as a set of handwritten notes, this has been passed down like gold through medicine to arrive at my hands, even though they are not worthy.

    Jokes aside, this book has everything you need. I bought it in first year and quickly learnt that it had a magic "PBL In A Page". It has pathology, epidemiology, signs and symptoms, preventation, management and hints and tips on life which are actually quite thoughtful and not so cheesy!

    Known affectionately as the cheese and onion, it is carried by many a clinical student (in fact, some people have been told they have to have on on them by their consultants) and really is top notch. Even comes in a tortoiseshell cover that is bodilyfluids-proof and a mini version for more comfort in pockets/handbags.

    Downsides: Perhaps doesn't give too much detail on the preclinical stuff that might be useful, but in general very useful.

    Score: 10/10

    Tutorials in Differential Diagnosis
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    I picked this book up in a charity shop for 2.99, brand new. Interesting type of book, it lists 33 symptoms like chest pain, weight loss, change in bowel habit, pleural effusion, vision loss, numbness and investigates the differential diagnoses culminating in a case for you to try out and an analysis.

    Very interesting take on teaching medicine, suited to a PBL style of learning. Also useful for clinical years as you can break down signs and symptoms into differentials and learn about each cause thereby developing your clinical reasoning.

    Downsides: Again, not very colourful. Continuous prose to read, which is no so good for absorption. A rather "sober" textbook.

    Score: 7/10

    Davidson's Essentials of Medicine
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    When it comes to pocket textbooks, i.e. abridged versions of their daddy books, there are three really. Churchills, Mini Kumar (Pocket Essentials of Clinical Medicine) or mini Davidson's.

    Most people seem to buy mini Kumar, but as I loathe Kumar I bought the mini Davidson's as soon as it was published. This is a fine book, complementing the OHCM well in my opinion by making up for the lack of explanation that the OHCM suffers from. A colourful, well illustrated book using lots of pictures, drawings, tables, flowcharts which I enjoy. The text is broken up into small paragraphs at a handy A5 page size. This is so important, as being bulletpointed and broken up means I remember more! Broken up into systems.

    Highlights include: A clinical examination one page summary the beginning of each system is very useful. Includes dermatology, clinical pharmacology and prescribing inc. antibiotic use, data interpretation guides e.g. radiological interpretation and labs as well as a Finals OSCE preparation segment at the rear. Handy quick reference lab values on front and rear. Anti bodilyfluids spill tortoiseshell cover. Pretty much everything you want!

    Downsides: Lacking in detail in some areas, for example wanting more treatment protocols, more findings on xray/labs etc. Davidson's style is not to everyone's taste. The publishers I think got a little confused as they are marketing it as a ward book as well (hence spill cover) but it is far too big for a pocket/bag really.

    Score: 9/10

    Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine
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    Now this book was introduced to me by a finalist friend after moaning about kumar and clarke to him. Those who have been reading so far will notice I am not a fan of blocks of text but I break the mould with this one! Almost continuous prose but by God is it good! It has EVERYTHING. No jokes. Even an overview of the anatomy and physiology before each disease. Even the random rare diseases are done in detail here, a stark contrast to K&C.

    I have a two volume set, each with 1400 and 1100 pages respectively (the current edition is a single volume publication). Need a PBL done? Just look up the section in this book, job done. It really is brilliant, but even though it has a daunting size that crushes K&C, it is very readable and very understandable. I am told it is the most popular textbook in the US (they carry it around on the wards? :wtf:)

    Downside: Huge. Only a desk reference. Rather expensive. Continuous prose.

    Score: 8.5/10

    Surgical Recall
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    An interesting book this, bought off ebay for about 2 quid. Very popular in the US (I read a lot of US blogs!) apparently for their surgical firms, which makes ours look like going to primary school again.

    This book presents in A5 size a question and answer format for all the common questions that you may be asked when you are scrubbed and observing/assisting in a surgery. So, for example Appendectomy:

    What is the Psoas sign?
    In acute appendicitis, what classicaly precedes vomiting?

    It even provides a bookmark so you can cover up the answers whilst looking at the questions on the opposite side of the page!
    My flatmate who has just finished her junior surgical firm told me she used to read it on the bus in the morning having found out what operations were on the list for the next day so she could prepare. It is well thumbed so I guess she found it useful!

    Interesting format, definitely not something to use as your core textbook, more brushing up for commonly asked questions, facts and figures.

    Score: 7/10 (I will update in a few months time when I have used it properly!)

    Surgical Talk: Revision in Surgery
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    Helena: If you're not a born surgeon, this book tells you everything you need to know for surgical finals.

    Essential Surgery
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    Becca-Sarah: Really really good! Esp for GI block as it explains the diseases as well as the operative treatments. Plus tons of pretty bloody pictures. 8/10


    Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology
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    Helena: Not one of our recommended ones (we were told either Impey or " by ten teachers " but I much preferred this one - better colours and more readable.

    Essential Orthopaedics and Trauma
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    Becca-Sarah: Wonderful, lots of really clear x-rays. And an obsession with cats - "the cat does not fracture its clavicle". Brill for Phase II musculoskeletal/ortho blocks. 8/10

    Wards 101 Pocket
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    Another American book! Bought for the bargain price of 9.99 from Foyle's. Basically, it is like a tiny, pocket-comfy reference book with every possible lab value you can imagine (5-NT level in blood?), rulers, treatment algorithms, how to write up histories, lists of system reviews questions, scoring/classification systems, flowcharts, system examination guides, even paediatric cuff size for intubation and defib settings based on age!

    Basically, this tiny book packs a big 460 page punch. If you need to look up something practical, without explanation, this book will have it, hands down.

    Downside: Since it is American and geared to American medical students/doctors, some of the units are different, treatment protocols are different etc etc. So always double check before you use any of it. But for the most part, things are the same and it is definitely worth a look.
    Score: 9/10



    Clinical Examination

    Oxford Handbook of Clinical Examination and Practical Skills
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    After the runaway success of the OHCM, many other OHs followed suite of varying quality. In my opinion, this is an average quality OH. It had rave reviews off Amazon that lead me to buy it. Essentialy, it tries to be the all encompassing guide to every practical skill and examination that you could ever need to perform. Unfortunately, it is rather clunky in its layout and over detailed, not suited to its intended format as a pocket handbook on the ward. The text, instead of being simple bullet points so you can quickly duck out behind a curtain and have a read, is blocks of text going into huge amounts of detail.

    The detail is an advantage, but the book seems to jump from one examination to the other without much correlation. Things that really should have been grouped together under one examination are split up into many small ones, which means much page flicking and confusion. The data interpretation section is reasonably useful, but misses out on enough explanation on findings to be critical.

    However, the diagrams of surface anatomy and how to examine are very useful, using clear pictures which I guess is a plus point.
    A disappointing buy for me, as I was expecting much more.

    Score:5.5/10


    Macleod's Clinical Examination
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    Becca-Sarah: The Aberdeen clinical skills exams are based on this baby (cos one of our ID consultants still edits it). Really good, lots of pictures of the signs, etc. 7/10

    Handbook of Clinical Skills
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    My current book for clinical skills. It is an oold edition, A5 pocket size, turtleback cover that I bought for 2 pounds off an SHO. Still, these examinations don't change! What I love about this book is that it KEEPS IT REAL. Nice and simple. Tells me what I should do, what things look like when they go wrong, what I can expect to hear, how to write a history, examination, how to consent, Christ even what to say!
    The photographs of clear signs are very important in a clinical examination book, because you need to be able to spot these things in patients. I find it really useful that normal anatomy and physiology are BRIEFLY covered (i.e. in a paragraph) in a manner relevant to clinical examination skills, good to brush up on what is expected/normal and where landmarks are.

    Downsides: Could focus more on data interpretation to round off an excellent book.
    Score: 9/10




    More to come...
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    thanks digimon
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    Wheater's Histology - 9/10, very well illustrated.
    Langman's Medical Embryology - 7/10, meh does the job...
    Instant Notes in Biochemistry - 8/10, good for a concise explanation on a particular topic but cannot be used as your sole biochem revision source (unfortunately!)
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    great thread digitalis!

    how can you rate kumar and clark a 5/10 though? it's like the medical bible! praise be to kumar and clark!

    my own personal recommendation is:
    - 6th Edition McMinn's Clinical Atlas of Human Anatomy by Peter H. Abrahams, Johannes M. Boon and Ralph T. Huchings

    it's amazing. near 400 pages worth of cadaver pics useful for DR prep, OSPE prep and for your own personal curiosity too. :sexface:
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    The 'pathology book as murder weapon' comment! For some reason I find the mental image of someone getting attacked by a really thick book rather amusing :o:

    Victim: 'Oh, what, so you're gonna kill me? What's it going to be? A fatal overdose? Air in the bloodstream? A gun?'

    Murderous doctor: 'Who needs such primitive methods? I've got textbooks from my med school days!'


    This thread is indeed awesome :woo:
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    I so inspired this
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    I feel like I'm missing out because I'm not excited by this when others clearly are. owh. :sad:
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    You went as far as to take photos on your camera too! You were bored. Nonetheless a handy thread. Someone already handed me down "Gray's anatomy for students" and it certainly is pretty.
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    This is gonna be useful..
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    Jameisons illustrations of anatomy can be very handy.

    The concise book of muscles is useful as a basic overview also, though one will never do well in exams with it, it is great for the basics.
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    (Original post by i'm no superman)

    my own personal recommendation is:
    - 6th Edition McMinn's Clinical Atlas of Human Anatomy by Peter H. Abrahams, Johannes M. Boon and Ralph T. Huchings

    it's amazing. near 400 pages worth of cadaver pics useful for DR prep, OSPE prep and for your own personal curiosity too. :sexface:
    Yeah, McMing's is good for revision - just cover up the labels and work around the pages trying to say what everything is yourself. For more applied stuff I used Moore and Dalley's Clinically Oriented Anatomy

    A rather random selection of other ones I like:
    Underwood's Pathology - I used this for my clinical pathology exams - I find it much more readable and less heavy (physically and academically!) than Robbins.

    Surgical Talk - if you're not a born surgeon, this book tells you everything you need to know for surgical finals.

    Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology - not one of our recommended ones (we were told either Impey or "by ten teachers") but I much preferred this one - better colours and more readable.

    Lecture notes on Clincal Biochemistry - if you have a science heavy clinical path course this is useful. Also from the same series Medical Microbiology and Infection

    And as a general point, I find the "At a Glance" series much easier to learn from than the "Crash Course" ones but that's just my style of learning, I think.
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    (Original post by Helenia)

    And as a general point, I find the "At a Glance" series much easier to learn from than the "Crash Course" ones but that's just my style of learning, I think.
    Did you find they went in to enough detail? I picked up a couple last year and wasn't too impressed. Instant notes, I found, managed to go in to a surprising amount of detail for it's size (I suppose it's not the size that matters but how you...).
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    (Original post by Tyraell)
    Did you find they went in to enough detail? I picked up a couple last year and wasn't too impressed. Instant notes, I found, managed to go in to a surprising amount of detail for it's size (I suppose it's not the size that matters but how you...).
    Depends what topic they're for - for stuff like psych, dermatology etc, they're fine. I wouldn't use it as a standalone for Medicine though.
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    Eh just a thought.. with all these different text books, how would you know which ones cover the details that you need to know? Would you be supplied with some kind of syllabus check-list by the university?
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    Pocock and Richards Human Physiology

    Was the one UCL recommended, but I really like it. It has illustrations, good explanations etc etc. The only problem with it is the index. I've found myself like:lolwut: a couple of times, because when you look up a specific word and go to the page it tells you to, sometimes it's not even on that page... maybe I've been unlucky...

    I'd give it about 8/10.
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    (Original post by LetoKynes)
    Eh just a thought.. with all these different text books, how would you know which ones cover the details that you need to know? Would you be supplied with some kind of syllabus check-list by the university?
    You will normally be given a list of suggested/recommended books for each bit of the course. But pretty much everyone on here would tell you not to buy ANYTHING until you've got to uni, had a chance to try out a couple of them at the library and then make a decision.
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    (Original post by LetoKynes)
    Eh just a thought.. with all these different text books, how would you know which ones cover the details that you need to know? Would you be supplied with some kind of syllabus check-list by the university?
    a) Most universities recommend books.
    b) The syllabus is covers the same detail across all universities as it is regulated by the GMC, hence it's not like "revision books", but the books cover the detail you need to know and sometimes a little bit more, therefore you look it up in the books. There is no real "syllabus" at university, unlike A-level where there will be specific things you should know (colour of transition metals etc) and these differ greatly for different exam boards. University is much more general and broad, so you do extra reading and reading to clarify the things you learn in your lectures. The syllabus you know tends to be much less of a check-list style than A-level.
    c) You will know what you're supposed to know after lectures.
    • Thread Starter
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    (Original post by LetoKynes)
    Eh just a thought.. with all these different text books, how would you know which ones cover the details that you need to know? Would you be supplied with some kind of syllabus check-list by the university?
    Please read first paragraph of the OP.:rolleyes:

    That is the whole idea behind this thread, to give people a subjective view of what books are good and what are not. As the OP suggests, it is not like school where you get a chemistry objective going "Be able to describe the Born-Haber cycle". We get "learning objectives" which are broad and very vague, for example:
    "Understand the approach to treatment, management and staging of lymphoma" which is an essay in itself!

    Hence the vagueness lends itself to not just one book being acceptable for the job. But, freshers being freshers, adopt a herd mentality and tend to all buy the same few books, as it is the "safe" option and usually end up kicking themselves a few months later. So this thread is to open your eyes to perhaps other books and other people's opinions of them, so you can take a look and form your own.
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    (Original post by Jessaay!)
    a) Most universities recommend books.
    b) The syllabus is covers the same detail across all universities as it is regulated by the GMC, hence it's not like "revision books", but the books cover the detail you need to know and sometimes a little bit more, therefore you look it up in the books. There is no real "syllabus" at university, unlike A-level where there will be specific things you should know (colour of transition metals etc) and these differ greatly for different exam boards. University is much more general and broad, so you do extra reading and reading to clarify the things you learn in your lectures. The syllabus you know tends to be much less of a check-list style than A-level.
    c) You will know what you're supposed to know after lectures.
    In theory.
    Not always the case :p:
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    Lets see
    For biochemistry it has to be Molecular biology of the Cell by Alberts et al. published by GArland
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    An absolute monster but it has it ALL. Fairly readable and navigable (I often find half the challenge with textbooks is to find the bit you need). The diagrams complement the text nicely and you'll never be lacking in detail! 8/10

    I never found a quite satisfying physiology text book so ended up relying on a few different ones but my main text was Guyton's "Textbook of Medical physiology"
    For anatomy you should not be without Instant Anatomy By Bob Whitaker (:love:)
    website book, podcasts and CD. Concise and clear 8/10.

    I'll have a think and try review a few more when i have a minute (eg. long train journey on tuesday)
 
 
 
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