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Toronto Notes – Text Review

Over the family day long weekend, I got a little break from the day in day out stresses of clerkship. Anyways, I just want to put out a big plug for one of my favorite resources of all-time.



I heard of this volumous text even in my pre-med days. It’s basically THE encyclolpedia Bible of medical knowledge for medical students. I might be exaggerating a bit but I’ve passed a many exams and clerkship rotations with this good book.

A quick summary from their website

Toronto Notes originated as an informal compilation of notes, developed by the University of Toronto graduating medical school class to help each other study for the MCCQE I. Twenty-six years later, it has evolved into a 1400-page textbook, a clinical handbook, and multiple online resources ranging from an online version of the text to PDA software to interactive learning tools. Toronto Notes is now sold throughout the world, and almost all Canadian medical students use Toronto Notes throughout their training.

I could go on and on about why I love this resource, from it’s high yield and EBM tidbits to it’s friendly formatting and awesome mnemonics. This is THE student’s notebook to medicine. Here’s the quick summary.


  • Breadth and depth, covers over 25+ specialties including all the most high yield knowledge
  • Evidence based with good tidbits on papers, trials, etc on the margins
  • Friendly formatting
  • Awesome for summarizing large amounts of information
  • The info on the margins is GOLD! You’ll learn all the best mnemonics and questions staff always pimp you on


  • Everything is in bullet form, therefore it’s hard to learn from it as a primary resource
  • Can be tedious to lug around (1000+ pages) though you can rip out each section and just put it in a folder that is convenient to carry
  • Occasional errors here and there, but relatively few for a volume this big


  • If you are a medical student in Canada, do yourself a favor and pick up the latest copy of Toronto Notes. It’s only around $150 something if you buy it through your school, and it can easily last you all 4 years in medical school.
  • I will probably pick up a new version at the end of med school. They constantly update it and you can access all the information online too.
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  1. Alan
    Alan February 25, 2011

    Hey anon med 🙂
    Seeing how much experience and insight you have about med schools, did you come across any med student from an Engineering background ?
    (other than biochemical engineering)

    There seems to be no statistics regarding engineering undergrads going to medschools.


    • medaholic
      medaholic February 26, 2011

      There are students from engineering backgrounds, though I would say they make up around 1-2% of each class. I know of mechanical, electrical, systems design engineers that have gone on to med, though it is very uncommon. Most people in medicine have backgrounds in biological sciences (biochem, physiology, etc)

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