General Reading List for First and Second Year

Last updated: 3/10/2020

As described in a previous blog article, there are many free and easy-to-understand resources out there that you can rely on. As a result, we don’t actually recommend you spend too much time on textbooks.

However, there may be certain concepts where you need more context in order to understand fully. In anticipation of those moments, we’ve put together a list of popular textbooks commonly on medical school reading lists and used by medical students alike, broken down by discipline. 

As mentioned in previous articles, it is still our recommendation to wait until you start medical school to decide if you want to purchase any of these for yourself. They’re often readily available at medical school libraries for loan and several more can be accessed on the BMA’s online library.

A stack of three books


  • ‘Moore’s Clinically Oriented Anatomy’ by Keith Moore
  • ‘Atlas of Human Anatomy’ by Frank H Netter
  • ‘Gray’s Anatomy For Students’ by Richard Drake 


  • ‘Medical Biochemistry’ by Marek Dominiczak and John Baynes
  • ‘Biochemistry’ by Denise Ferrier
  • ‘Marks’ Basic Medical Biochemistry: A Clinical Approach’ by Michael Lieberman 
  • ‘Principles of Medical Biochemistry’ by Gerhard Meisenberg


  • ‘Histology and Cell Biology: An Introduction to Pathology’ by Abraham Kierszenbaum
  • ‘Cell Biology’ by Thomas Pollard 
  • ‘Wheater’s Functional Histology: A Text and Colour Atlas’ by Barbara Young, Geraldine O'Dowd and Phillip Woodford

Clinical Examination

  • ‘Macleod’s Clinical Examination’ by Robert Britton 


  • ‘Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine’ by Stanley Davidson
  • ‘Kumar & Clark’s Clinical Medicine’ by Parveen Kumar and Michael Clark 


  • ‘Mims’ Medical Microbiology’ by Richard Goering


  • ‘Muir’s Textbook of Pathology’ by C Simon Herrington
  • ‘Rubin’s Pathology: Clinicopathologic Foundations of Medicine’ by Emanuel Rubin
  • ‘Underwood’s Pathology: A Clinical Approach by’ J.C.E. Underwood


  • ‘Rang & Dale’s Pharmacology’ by H.P Rang
  • ‘Brody’s Human Pharmacology: Molecular to Clinical’ by Lynn Wecker


  • ‘Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology’ by John Hall
  • ‘Principles of Anatomy and Physiology’ by Gerard Tortora 
  • ‘Renal Physiology: A Clinical Approach’ by John Danziger
  • ‘Ganong’s Review of Medical Physiology’ by Kim Barrett and William Ganong
  • ‘Human Physiology’ by Gillian Pocock
  • ‘Vander’s Human Physiology: The Mechanisms of Body Function’ by Arthur J Vander

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