Alex’s Pre-Med Library


***= Of Great Interest; A must read
**= Significant
* = Valuable

By the way, I appreciate if you let me know what books you find useful.
NOTE: I am not updating this very often. The MCAT Review Books that I recommend here become better every year as new editions are issued. The links to Amazon and Barnes & Nobles below link to older editions (1999-2001). Once you get to the Amazon or look if there is a newer edition of the same book.



Medicine, Being a Doctor & Medical Fiction

*** “Purposes of Medicine.” by Sir Theodore Fox. Editorial. The Lancet . October 23, 1965. pp: 801-805.
Click here to download this article in PDF format
“Reprinted with permission from Elsevier (The Lancet, Oct 23, 1965, pgs 801-805)”

I want to express gratitude to the Lancet and Elsvier ScienceDirectTM for the permission to reproduce this article for the convenience of future doctors worldwide.

=> This is a classic. An excellent exposition on the nature of medical practice. If you’re contemplating a career in medicine–this one is the best piece I have seen. Read it again before writing your Personal Statement when applying for medical school–not only it will provide you with material to think about but it is also very informative. In fact, I would recommend reading it again before every Medical School Interview you attend. As you see I simply cannot overemphasize the importance of this piece. Hard to get–you will have to go to a library (if your library does not have it–the easiest trick is to ask your librarian to get it through “inter-library loan”. Well worth to think about what the author is talking about.

**House of God (very good book about motivations & education of a doctor)
ISBN: 0440133688
Amazon   B&N 

**Arrowsmith (a classic: Classical dilemmas in medicine).
ISBN: 0451526910
Amazon  B&N

Not Entirely Benign Procedure: Four Years as a Medical Student
ISBN: 0452272580Amazon       B&N  

I read the first two: “The House of God” and “Arrowsmith.” Both are very enjoyable. “House of God” is a humorous, if not poignant semi-fictitious account of the lead character’s medical education. “Arrowsmith” is set at the turn of the century and explores both the altruistic/idealistic motivations of those wanting to practice, and the reality they face. I think it is still VERY relevant even today.

Medical School Admission Guides

I have the first book (Medical School Admissions w/ 50 sample essays). I got it when I was stuck with my personal statement. Reading through and looking at what others have wrote provides a good starting point where to start your essay. Obviously written for the premed, this book will be also useful for high school students and those who are in their early premed career. The Insider’s Guide to Medical School Admissions also seems to be a popular choice among premeds but I have not read it and thus cannot say anything about it. Getting into Medical School Today is listed as a result of a recommendation from a reader just like yourself! If you have used any of the books let me know how you liked it.

** Medical School Admissions
(+50 Real Application Essays)Good starting Point.ISBN: 0914457942
Amazon  B&N

Insider’s Guide to Medical School AdmissionsISBN: 1564142728

Amazon  B&N

You are the ER Doc! True-to Life Cases for You to Treat

Peter Meyer, MD

ARCO Perfect Personal Statements: Law, Business, Medical, Graduate School

Amazon  B&N 

ISBN: 0028625005

Amazon  B&N

From High School to Med. School: The definitive guide to accelerated medical programs

ISBN: 0738818615



MCAT Preparation: MCAT Study Guides

*** MCAT Student Manual. MCAT Practice Tests II and III, IV (Click to go to order form)

Medical School Admissions Requirements can also ordered using the link above: lists each school’s profile, admission requirements and some admission statistics such as MCAT, GPA, in-state/out-of-state students/applicants, tuition.

MCAT Student Manual provides a complete outline of all topics that might appear on the MCAT. I recommend that you get it or at least take a look at it in your school’s library or premed office. It is especially beneficial to check it out a year or two before you plan on taking MCAT–>that way you will know what to study! The Practice Tests are good to take to see where you are and to focus your studying.
NEW! AAMC released MCAT Practice Test IV–now there is a cause to celebrate!!! (Thanks for letting me know).

These are the most popular MCAT study/review guides. I personally used Columbia Review because I felt that it covers Human Physiology (my weakest area at the time) better than Kaplan,, but I suspect that most of them are pretty good, since they have been subjected to evolutionary selection and all are still popular.



Kaplan 2000
ISBN: 068486746X
Amazon   B&N 

Columbia Review: Intensive Preparation for the MCAT
ISBN: 0683010271

Amazon   B&N

Flowers & Silver MCAT
ISBN: 0375750037

Amazon  B&N 
MCAT SuperCourse
ISBN: 0028617118
Amazon  B&N

Complete Preparation for the MCAT, 1999
ISBN: 0683305220

Amazon   B&N



Interview Preparation

Again I highly recommend reading “Purposes of Medicine.” by Sir Theodore Fox. Editorial. The Lancet . October 23, 1965. pp: 801-805. (described above on this page).

Also, occasionally look through Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA to stay abreast of the issues and interesting events in medicine so that if the need arises you can discuss them.

You might want to get the following little booklet (about 20 or so pages long), which is

Medical School Interview by Randall Zielinski $3.00. A cheap, useful booklet on medical school interview. You can order it here: NAAHP Publications for Prehealth Professions Students Note, their Medical Professions Admissions Guide is not the same as published by AAMC.


My favorites

** Catch-22 (Besides being an awfully good read, it also has a doctor character, who is actually quite a character.):

ISBN: 0684833395
Amazon   B&N 

The New Yorker Book of Doctor Cartoons
ISBN: 0679765735
Amazon    B&N




Academic Help

I found this book to be extremely valuable when I took organic chemistry. It was also of great help two years later when I was studying for MCAT. The book is pretty expensive–about $40-$50, so you might want to check your library first. If you want to really understand organic chemistry but are having trouble, check this book out before you give up.


Guidebook to Mechanism in Organic Chemistry
by Peter Sykes

Amazon         B&N  

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