Posts Tagged ‘books’

Glasgow 1st year Medicine books

August 31st, 2009 5 comments

A lot of people who I meet coming to start at Glasgow are confused about whether they should be buying lots of books before hand. Probably not, it’s almost certainly better to wait until you start. Despite that, I thought I’d give my views on some books typically used in 1st year at Glasgow. All books link to Amazon although I don’t receive royalty for the links (so click away!).

Anatomy (Almost certainly one of these)


Now in a 2 volume 12th edition Tortora (as it’s affectionately known as) remains a favourite for 1st years. Covering most of the anatomy and physiology you will ever encounter, this is one a lot of people buy. Personally I would try and experiment a bit more, it’s a decent book but the faculty hate it. Some of the individual anatomy and physiology books offer more and explain things clearer.


Either this one or one of the updated Clinical or Colour atlases are faculty favourites for anatomy learning. I haven’t seen the updated books but I found McMinn’s a tricky book for beginners. Almost all of the images are based on dissected specimens which, although very realistic, make it hard to see what’s going where. I much prefer the (slightly larger) book below.


Recently updated, this excellent anatomy book tries to make everything seem relevant by relating it to clinical practice. Whilst perhaps a bit much for 1st or even 2nd year, I wish I’d bought it early and actually got the full use out of it. One to look at!


Not to be laughed at, this book is actually really good at making you apply anatomy – which is generally quite dull. It does require a bit of time to get it usable as a book but for something you are only slightly interested in learning (something you’ve come across but not expected to know in detail, for example) it can be useful.
Fast Track

Fast Track

I’ve only come across this recently but I’ve grown to like it. It presents a question and answer format for the most important and commonly encountered anatomy topics. A chapter is finished with pictures (not the best of quality) which show some of the topics. Nice and small book, perfect for the train or similar.

Read more…

Categories: Uni Tags: , , ,

Clinical examination – what book?

April 30th, 2009 3 comments

Clinical examination is an important part of being a medical student, particularly from year 3 onwards in the UK. As everything medical students do requires a bookshelf to itself, clinical examination is no different. Back in first year I fell victim of my own advice:

Wait until you know which book you need and like before buying any

I say this many times to prospective medical students, it saves both money (quite important!) and wasted space. However, being only a 1st year, I took the advice of my tutor and ran out to buy Macleod’s Clinical Examination, It’s a popular book, no doubt about that. Mention it to most medical students or doctors and they’ll generally nod approvingly. There is a new edition due out in June (on my brother’s birthday, possible present? probably not) which will no doubt be just as popular. Anyone who wants to go buy a copy would probably be best waiting until the new version. I say this not only to gain the benefits of whatever the refresh will contain but also because Student Consult becomes unusable after an update is published.

I kept my Macleod’s happy on my bookshelf for the better part of 2 years. Recently, however, I noticed something funny – I hardly used it. In fact, I was using it less than I was using a similar book from the library. Which book? This one:

Oxford Handbook of Clinical Examination and Practical Skills

oxpracIt’s a great book. Instead of aimless rambling that I found prevalent in Macleod’s this book is very focused to the detail required. Don’t think this is lacking some of the basics either – each chapter begins with relevant anatomy and physiology which is a very useful summary. I have found things explained here which would take much searching in Macleod’s or that aren’t even there to begin with.

The book is part of the Oxford Handbook Series (like the cheese and onion) and will therefore be familiar to the majority of students. Being a handbook is particularly useful and means it’ll fit in most pockets without trouble.

Still, one of the best features has to be the latter part of the title. Practical skills include everything from hand washing and cannulation to pericardial aspiration and airway management. This is interesting for me but surely could be extremely useful for junior doctors. Don’t try looking for anything like this in Macleod’s, by the way.

To finish of this excellent piece of work, Thomas and Monaghan have included a chapter on interpretation – going through most of radiology, clinical chemistry and not forgetting the dreaded ECGs.

The book is relatively new (May 07) and so far seems pretty scarce. For Glasgow students there are only 2 across campus at time of writing (and none in the SL!). If you can track it down though, give it a glance and see what you think. Not all books are for everyone though, so don’t forget my original advice.


I don’t get any commisson from this book, by the way, despite what it sounds like above. I also don’t get anything from the Amazon links.


In the end – I sold my Macleod’s.

Categories: Medical, Review Tags: , ,

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