Textbooks: so many, yet so low quality…

Medical school, a place where I believed textbooks would be vastly improved as opposed to some undergraduate versions.

Boy… was I wrong.

Just like any good first semester student, I rushed to buy the books on the “recommended” book list. They weren’t cheap, but I thought they would get the job done. After a few weeks of using them, I decided to shelve them indefinitely. I’ve found, through my venture in higher education, that textbooks are a lot like professors. They may contain vast amount of knowledge on a subject, but most are unable to teach it in a manner that is best suited for someone with no experience. Granted, theses subjects are not easy, and with the USMLE now embracing a totally clinical approach, it would be intuitive that they would build these books around the Step tests… Nope. To my surprise, the best books for learning both class material and Step material, didn’t come from the states, but from Europe.

Crazy, right?

Thieme, a European publisher, beat the American publishers at the textbook game.

So, moral of the story today, DON’T buy the books you’re recommended. Ask the upperclassmen what they’ve tried, ask to borrow a copy of various texts, and keep in mind that the goal for these texts (American students) is to prepare us for the USMLE. Also, you know (hopefully) how you learn best. Make sure the tools you use compliment how you learn. The same can be applied to any courses in higher education. It will make your experience a whole lot more enjoyable when you’re grinding late at night.

Until the next sleepless night!


If there happens to be severe hepatic bleeding, the hepatic artery can safely be clamped, as 80% of the blood flow to the liver comes from the portal vein!


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