Thursday, June 11, 2015

Which books do I study from while in second year MBBS?


One of my readers asked to write a books recommendation posts for second year and here it is!
This post is mainly for Indian medical students because I'll be talking about some local authors which might not be available or preferred in your country. But of course, foreign medical students can read it too as they might find the general points helpful! ^__^

Something I learnt from my first year - You should never be hasty in buying books. Medical textbooks are pretty damn expensive and you don't wanna be stuck with a book you don't like for the rest of the year.

So here's what I recommend - Be "bookless" for the intial few weeks. Don't buy any books. Pretend you're broke and rely only on the library.

Ask - Friends, seniors, book sellers, internet about books they think you should buy. Immediate seniors will be the best resource - Ask them why you should go for one book and not the other, know their reasons. You should be able to cut the long list of 10-12 books and bring it down to 2-3 books.

In the bookless period, go to your library (Or use ebooks), read a few topics (Not just one!) from the two to three books you think you should buy. You'll like one and that's the book you should read for the rest of the year!

Don't judge a book by it's initial few pages. You have to read topics of substance, big topics not the small ones. Example, don't read about Louis Pasteur and see which book wrote it better. Read about Staphylococcus or ELISA.

Before I begin, I'll be very clear and tell you that all I can do is recommend. You do the deciding =)

K. D. Tripathi or KDT: It's a good book. It'll stick with you throughout the year!
How to study: Read classifications first because you wanna know the drug names before you start reading into the tiny details. If you write a good classification table in the beginning of your answer, you impress the reader. Know special side effects of drugs, it gives you an upper edge while writing theory papers (No examiner wants to read nausea and vomitting over and over again!)

Katzung: Now this book is HUGE. It's fun to read!
How to study: Get it from a library or use a PDF. Read the topics you like. I read diuretics from this book and boy I enjoyed it. It's too much to read so when exams near, you'll lose the book and run back to Tripathy. So keep in mind that this is not THE book and you won't be able to finish it or come back to it later. Take points and put it in your Tripathi in the first read itself.

Lippincott: It is simple and preferred by a lot of international readers.
How to study: I haven't read it, so I don't know how good it is T_T

Pappa Robbins or the big Robbins: It's awesome.
How to study: It's a huge book, so do the "Important" topics from here first. Important? Yeah, the stuff that's been asked a lot of times in the previous papers. Try to do general pathology, CVS, RS and renal from this book.

Baby Robbins or the small Robbins: It's useless.
How to study: Don't.

Harshmohan: It has lots of diagrams and point wise notes. You know who likes diagrams and point wise answers? Teachers.
How to study: Stuff you couldn't read from Robbins due to lack of time, read it from here. (Don't forget the diagrams!)

Ananthanarayan: It's just the right amount of information. If you study this one well, you won't require any other book.
How to study: You wanna know how an organism looks like and what diseases it causes. Do cultural characteristics too. General microbiology - Read the important stuff. If you don't enjoy immunology while reading it, you're doing it wrong. It's my favorite subject! Imagine, read comics.

Any book will do: I studied from Arora.
How to study: Diagrams are key. If you can draw the life cycle, half your work is done. Diagnosis and treatment is simple.

Forensic and Medical Toxicology
I never studied this subject from multiple books to pick a personal favorite, sorry! :|

I use a lot of internet for studying. It keeps things interesting. There's always a new perspective you can gain via the internet. Videos, images, jokes, mnemonics. It keeps things fresh. And books can get boring sometimes, so use the internet, read blogs, have fun! :)

PS: If you are thinking of preparing for USMLE but are not too sure (Because second year is too early to decide your future xD), finish off the Kaplan videos, notes and Goljan audio.

That's all!

Ask me whatever you like in the comments section below!


Related posts:
How to make concise medical notes
How to make medical mnemonics


  1. Thanks so much! I didn't think I'd get a post about my question this early! You are really efficient! :) and yes, I am going to give usmle. So that extra bit of advice is very helpful also! I was thinking of giving usmle step one in 2nd year itself. Would that be advisable?

    1. You're most welcome! Oh well, luckily, I'm just a bit free this week so you got your answer :D

      Second year is ideal, but I personally think you should give it in third minor start (March-May, I guess?)
      You need a little clinical exposure too that's why!

      I have written about it in this blog, after Behavioral science part -->

    2. Thanka so much! :D

  2. There's ICMR STS which is conducted for UG students upto prefinal year. I'm in second year. Any idea about subjects & research topics I can go for?

    1. There are many! Choose a topic that interests you.

      Prevalence of nasal staphylococcus in hospital stuff, subclinical hypothyroidism, relapse rates in alcoholics are a few topics my batchmates research on.

  3. thank you so much for the much needed advise... i also wanted to ask you if you have a list of kaplan videos... because i checked them out on youtube and all the videos don't seem to be there... it would also help a lot if u share them with us ( if you have them ) or just suggest a link from where we can download those awesome videos... if possible can u also include the link for the goljan audio... thank you so much once again...

    1. You are most welcome.

      I don't have the videos at the moment and I figure it's harder to share them now because of the strict copyright issues. Try asking your seniors who already have them, use torrents or a local hub like DC++

    2. Thanks once again...:)

  4. Why is baby Robbins useless?
    Is harshmohan better than it?

  5. Why is baby Robbins useless?
    Is harshmohan better than it?

  6. any one can send me the shanbhag pdf link

  7. Which is papa robbins? There are 3 robbins

    1. The fattest book in the store is Pappa Robbins.

      The smaller one is Baby Robbins.

  8. Which is papa robbins? There are 3 robbins

  9. There is Robin's basic pathology and the other one is Robin's pathologic basis of diseases . Which one is the Pappa Robins?

  10. Which book is good for clinical methods? Could you suggest from both foreign and Indian authors? And please also tell which is preferred.

    1. Umm haven't read a lot of books to opine. Maybe you should let someone else answer this question!

  11. What you say about paniker for parasitology? And do you advise buying both Katzung and KD Tripathi? And any book for forensics and community medicine? And is there need of mnemonic book for pharmacology?

    1. Paniker is good parasitology.

      I would advise buying one and having ebook of the other if you are being conservative with your finances.

      Forensics - any book will do.

      Community medicine - Park

      Is there need of mnemonic book for pharmacology? Nope.

    2. Thank-you so much sir!

  12. Hey, I don't want to land up with baby Robbins. I don't have access to a medical book store and buy my books mostly on Amazon. Can you post the title name/link for papa Robbins. Thanks!!

  13. Thank you for the help.
    I have just started 2nd year and I am aiming at NEET-PG. when should I start preparing and how. Please help.

  14. Thanks for this. But tell me how did you promoted your blog and gained such huge amount of viewers.??

  15. Thanks For Sharing This Information With Us.


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