Studying medicine can be daunting. There are tons of resources out there for you to use, and it can be hard to find ones that work the best for you as you prepare for exams or the PANCE. Here are some of my favorite books that have gotten me through PA school!
- “Green book”– this is the Holy Grail of study material at my school. Some of my professors either wrote sections in the book or were reviewers. It’s organized in outline format and hits all the important information that is covered by the PANCE or PANRE. I find it very readable and it does a good job of covering topics without being overwhelming. Since we follow the NCCPA Blueprint at my school, it is a great resource to use as it covers all of those topics and goes more into detail on the ones that are more tested on. There are also practice questions in the front of the book, and online resources you can use.
- Pathology by Damjanov– I read this textbook for EVERY SINGLE Clinical Medicine Exam we take. It is broken down by body system, as well as having some general pathology topics making up the early chapters. This book seriously has the most readable pathology information I have ever encountered. It does a great job of explaining the pathological changes that correspond to diseases of the system, while explaining the disease as well. Very helpful, and very easy to read.
- Netter’s Anatomy– Knowing the basics of Anatomy is crucially important to being able to understand medicine. Netter’s Anatomy has great illustrations of the body and goes into good detail about each part. I am constantly looking things up and refreshing my knowledge on anatomy when we learn something new. There are also some pretty great flashcards, as well as coloring books out there that are based off of this book.
- Step Up Medicine– So, technically this book is for medical students, and because that it goes a little more in depth into something than I need to know for my exams. It’s organized in much of the same way as the Green Book, in outline format, but it is in color (always nice) and has “Quick Hit” and “Clinical Pearl” notes in the margins that make for quick reading of important ideas. Plus, I find it very helpful to read information in a variety of ways, and since it is for med students, it highlights different things as important.
- Rapid interpretation of EKGs– The heart is involved in everything. Right now we’re in the GI system and I can still tell you about a plethora of GI illness caused by or associated with or causing heart problems. Understanding EKGs is going to be so important no matter what kind of medicine you go in to because it allows you to understand the heart better. Dubin uses a great format of a large picture on each paged, with sentences that allow you to fill in the blanks. Its a great method for learning. Additionally, he talks about the heart as a whole and really goes in to why the EKG is doing what it is, and what that means for the heart.
- PANCE Prep Pearls– The only reason this book isn’t higher on this list is because I don’t like how it looks when I read it (for some reason the black and white of it gives me a headache after a while). However, it is still super helpful! This is a different style of review book than the other two because it is less of an outline format. Each topic in a system is clearly broken down by disease, and than that disease is broken down into a definition, etiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management. It also has pictures of imagining (especially great for MSK). The second edition, in my opinion, is much better than the first! The author used too many abbreviations for easy reading in the first edition, and a lot of small problems where ironed out in the second book.
- Current Medicine/Harrison’s– Even though these are two different books, I combined them as one of my favorites because I pretty much use them interchangeably. Harrison’s has physiology and pathology integrated into the chapter, which can be a little daunting to read, but overall is still manageable. Current (at least in my opinion) is a little more readable and focused on the disease clinically. Normally I read Current first and then do some additional reading in Harrison’s. What I read also depends on who is teaching that body system (cause of course my professors all like different books better).
Comment below on your thoughts about these books as well as any others you find helpful! I’m always looking for new ways to find information.
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**I receive a small compensation if you purchase these books from my link. I was not paid to advertise these books. This is my own personal opinion**