essential reading for medical studentsIf you’ve just started your way on the career path of becoming a doctor, congratulations! You’ve made a great choice and whilst it’s a daunting time for you, by simply making your way into medical school you’ve already proven that you fit the criteria to become a doctor. Here, we’ll answer the age of question of, ‘what is essential reading for medical students?’  Before we start, we’d recommend that students obtain their reading material through the Amazon Kindle. The text books are much cheaper on Kindle than buying them in paper form plus you won’t need a large bookcase to accommodate them all of the books on the list of essential reading for students.

Behind every good doctor is a great array of knowledge. This of course is in part achieved by attending lectures at University, as well as seminars and conferences after your classes have finished. However, you’ll also need an impressive library behind you. This is where the list of essential reading for medical students comes in. For those that are awaiting to get their reading list from their course leaders, our compiled list of essential reading for medical students will ensure that you gain the upper hand on your classmates before the semester has even begun. So, without further ado let’s look at the list of essential reading for medical students.

 Essential reading for medical students- the books every medical student should have

1) Gray’s Anatomy. Everyone has heard of the hit TV show set in the USA. However, the original Gray’s Anatomy is a highly in-depth and widely acclaimed text book on the human body with the current edition being in excess of 1,500 pages. It is perhaps the most sought after book regarding medicine, although over time it has steadily become more specialised and as a result many institutions feel that it is better suited to qualified physicians. Regardless, we feel that by using this as a supplement to the other reading materials on this list will aid aspiring doctors in achieving their full potential. In response to the argument that Gray’s is too medically advanced for students, especially those in their first year, a separate edition has been written, handily entitled ‘Gray’s Anatomy for Students’. Due to it’s legacy it makes the number 1 spot of the list for essential reading for medical students. Available here.

2) The New England Journal of Medicine. Whilst this is strictly not a textbook, the NEJM is a critically acclaimed journal that covers a wide range of the newest medical developments, including treatments, and also procedures. Even better, a wide number of medical schools carry a subscription to the NEJM allowing their students to read the journal for free, and select the material that best suits their coursework at the given time.

3) Pharmacology, 7th Edition. As our understanding of medicine becomes more in-depth, the need for doctors to be more competent with regards to pharmacology is becoming more necessary. Rang and Dale have done an exceptional job of making this the most user friendly and comprehensive pharmacology textbook to those new to the science. Available here.

4) The Worried Student’s Guide to Medical Ethics and Law.This is a must have add-on book for all students. It’s a great way to put your mind at ease and is actually very expansive in terms of what you can and can’t do as a doctor and as such we highly recommend it. Available here.

5) An Introduction to Cardiovascular Physiology.If you’re only going to get one physiology book, make sure it’s this one! It’s a great way to introduce any budding doctor into the world of cardiology, but it’s far from simplistic book! It’s highly in depth and yet it’s easy enough to understand at the same time. Available here.


Aside from the books above, your own medical school will give you a list of what they feel is essential reading for medical students.