Top Resources & Tools for Premeds and Medical Students

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Session 57

Top Resources and Tools for Premeds and Medical Students

In today’s episode, Ryan and Allison talk about a number of relevant resources for premeds, medical students, and residents, whether you’re looking for books to help you prepare for your medical school applications or you simply want to take a breather and read some fun yet insightful books. (Plus, some movie recommendations and what stethoscope to use!)

By the way, we previously rolled out a post covering some of the top books we highly recommend premeds should read while not studying.

Resources for Premeds:

Important resources when trying to figure out which medical schools to apply to:

  • AAMC’s MSAR (for MD schools)
  • AACOM’s CIB (for DO schools)

Fun books to read:

Atul Gawande’s Books: His books cover problems relating to health care as well as the practice of medicine and surgery today, and some resolutions to address those issues.

The Intern Blues: The Timeless Classic About the Making of a Doctor

A look into what life is like as an intern, which will give you a good view of the challenges faced.

White Coat: Becoming a Doctor at Harvard Medical School

About a physician’s medical school experience at Harvard.

The House of God

A classic and a great read for any premed or medical student about a doctor’s internship journey. (Most modern hospital dramas are loosely based on this book.)

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures

About a little girl from Laos with severe epilepsy living in California. The book takes you through their struggles and highlights the importance of cultural understanding and appreciation of diversity.

The Heartbeat of Success by Alexa Mieses

Everything I Learned in Medical School by Dr. Sujay Kansagra

MCAT Books

Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep) Books (Recommended)

The Princeton Review MCAT Material

Barron’s MCAT Material

Examkrackers MCAT Material

Kaplan MCAT Material

Practice Tests

AAMC Practice Tests

The best thing about practice tests is reviewing them afterward!

Movie Recommendations:

Doctors’ Diaries

Patch Adams

Gross Anatomy

Resources for 1st- and 2nd-Year Medical Students:

Important things to have:

  • Your white coat!
  • Lots of pens, highlighters, notebooks
  • Mobile devices like tablet and computer

More things to consider:

  • Find a good study buddy.
  • Find a good study environment.
  • Bring a change of clothes for the Anatomy Lab.


Get Frank Netter’s books for classic anatomy stuff

Robbin’s Pathology book

Review Guides:

Board Review Series Books

High Yield Books

Rapid Review Books

For allopathic students:

First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 (get this early)

Bates’ Guide to Physical Examination and History-Taking

Resources for 3rd- and 4th-Year Medical Students:


Maxwell Quick Medical Reference

Teaches you how to write SOAP note, transfer note, admissions note, and more cheat sheets

Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia 2014 Deluxe Lab-Coat Edition (Pharmacy bible for medical students and attending physicians)

Other Pocket Books:

Pocket Medicine: The Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook of Internal Medicine (Pocket Notebook)

The Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics, Print + Online

The Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy

For Surgical Rotation:

Surgical Recall book with bullet points

iPhone Apps

Epocrates (electronic version of the Pharmacopoeia)

MedCalc (great calculator for different medical formulas)

Dynamed (clinical summaries on different medical topics)

VisualDX (diagnosis and treatment plan)

Boards & Wards for USMLE Steps 2 & 3 (Boards and Wards Series)


3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope

Ophthalmoscope & Otoscope:

(you don’t really need to buy one)

Welch Allyn Diagnostic Kit- Panoptic Plus Kit Includes PanOptic Opthalmoscopes, MacroView Otoscope, Convertible Rechargeable Handle, & Nose/Throat Illuminator In Soft Case

Other Stuff You Need to Have:


EKG Caliper

Trömner Reflex Hammer

Tuning Forks

Trauma Shears



Peer-reviewed data on diagnosis, treatment plans, etc. (you only have access to it at the hospital because they’re paid for)

Shelf Prep Books:

Step-Up to Medicine (Step-Up Series)

Case Files Books


Recall Series

MKSAP 16: Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program (ACP, MKSAP Print Version Parts A&B Pkg)

Bibles for Medicine:

Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine: Volumes 1 and 2, 18th Edition

Andreoli and Carpenter’s Cecil Essentials of Medicine: With STUDENT CONSULT Online Access, 8e (Cecil Medicine)

Resources for Residents:

AAMC’s Roadmap to Residency

Board Review Books



Family Time


Links and Other Resources: