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The Essential Pocketbook for Medicine

Anyone who has ever been on a medicine rotation in a hospital book must have surely noticed the little Red Pocket Medicine Book, which in its newest version is actually now a Green Book, published by the Massachusetts General Hospital and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

This concise, pocket size (perfect fit for a white coat) is a lifesaver for anyone in internal medicine. It’s thorough, evidence based and has saved my butt many times on the ward. It’s one of the best references for medical students, residents and even attending staff use it.

Check out the free sample pages on Amazon and just read the reviews!

Pros: If you are able to cover and master the material in this small book, you’ll easily be at a resident level, maybe even a senior resident. The downside is the book is compact. It’s hard to learn the basics from it if you’ve never covered the contents before. If you’re lost at how to approach a problem, this book will tell you the essentials needed for the best standard of care in just a couple of pages.

Cons: It’s dense. Definitely need to have a more thorough teaching resource if you haven’t covered the diseases / approaches before. It also uses American trade names and units. The text can be small and packed together sometimes.

Conclusion: This book is an excellent reference and quick guide to all the major systems and disease processes in internal medicine. It is evidence based, compact and complete with its depth of knowledge. The downside if you’re for Canada is that it uses American units for lab values/dosages.

I highly recommend anyone considering internal medicine to buy this right away and start learning proven and evidence based  medicine! If you’re school subsidizes the purchase, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have one. A genuine lifesaver (saves patients and saves you from making mistakes) on the wards. It’s the one book I make sure I carry with me whenever I am on call.

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