Win a Free Book: Pocket Medicine (AKA The Green Book) Giveaway!

This contest is currently closed – the winner has been contacted. Thank you to everyone who applied. Stay tuned for the next free giveaway, coming this Halloween!

Pocket Medicine: The Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook of Internal Medicine

Win this book free!

Med Student Books is proud to announce our first of many book giveaways: Mark Sabatine’s Pocket Medicine. You have probably already heard it referred to as “The Green Book” (the newest edition after “The Red Book“), and seen it sticking out of white coat pockets. Pocket Medicine has been previously reviewed on this site as a “Must Have” book for third year medical students on the wards.

Thanks to our friends at Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, we are happy to give away a brand new copy of this highly recommended resource. As this site is dedicated to using the experiences of medical students to help one another, Pocket Medicine will be awarded to the US medical student who offers the best advice to incoming first year medical students in a comment to this post.  It can focus on anything, including but not limited to study tips, ways to adjust to med school life, your favorite anatomy resources, or anything else that you wish you had known coming into medical school.  It just needs to be tailored to first years.

As this book is valued at over $50 and we wish to restrict it to the medical community, we ask that you use your medical school e-mail address as verification of your status.  Alternately, you can use another e-mail for now, but winners must verify their med school e-mail when contacted.  E-mail addresses are not displayed publicly, and will not be used for any purpose outside of this contest.  The winning entry will be selected on Friday, October 7th at 11:59pm, and the winner will be notified by the e-mail they provided shortly thereafter.

See our complete contest rules for further details.

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28 Responses to Win a Free Book: Pocket Medicine (AKA The Green Book) Giveaway!

  1. David says:

    Sadly, I don’t live in the US, so, I won’t be able to win this book. But, this doesn’t discourage me to post an advice to first year students. I’ll post about my expirience in first year and I hope it’ll help somebody.

    When I started with histology, the best way to study for me, was to record the classes and take notes while in class. Afterwards, when I was home, I’d listen to the class again and make clean and organized notes. This made me score 4.8 as an overall in first semester Histology, specially since in this exams, all that the Doctors say in class is what is going to appear in the examns.

    For Anatomy I had a little bit of trouble, but I got over it by preparing classes before, taking notes in class and when at home, review the notes and copy them again in a clean and organized way.

    Another thing I’d recommend is to make test to see if you learn in a visual, aural, or kinesthetic way, and adjust to what you are.

    Above all, relax. This is the best thing to do in Med School. Relax and have good sleep.

    I’m doing this specially because this page has helped me get the best books ever!

    I can’t use my medschool email address since it only receives emails from

    Anyway, goodbye, and I wish success to all of you! :D

  2. Taylor says:

    My advice to a first year medical school is to never forget why you’re doing this. Medicine is a privilege and we’re all lucky to be doing it. With that being said, bury your head in a book for 2 years.

  3. Allison says:

    Make sure you take care of yourself! You should be your own first priority. If you need a break, take one. You won’t be able to study well or fulfill your other obligations if you’re not in good health– mentally and physically. On airplanes they always tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first in the event of an emergency, before trying to help other people. Same goes for med school.

  4. Chandan Khandai says:

    In addition to the savvy comments to the post above, I would recommend keeping up with hobbies and passions. It’s easy to tell yourself, I’ll do this after anatomy, or I’ll do this after microbio… which then becomes I’ll do it after Step 1, I’ll do it after my required rotations, I’ll do it after Match, I’ll do it after intern year, I’ll do it after fellowship, I’ll do it once I’m a full attendee…

    Life doesn’t start up again after a certain point, life is going on now. Sure, you can study all the time, but the best students in my class are those who are successful at being themselves, passions and all. If you like to rock climb, rock climb. If you like to sing in a band, find a band and sing. If you like to build birdhouses, build birdhouses. This advice has been repeated over and over to me by older students and medical school professors. You will feel better about life, do better in school, and stay sane.

  5. Gabrielle Paoletti says:

    My best advice for first years is to embrace every academic and clinical challenge with gratitude for the opportunity to be in medical school to pursue such a rewarding career. Take time to shadow physicians in clinic to remind yourself why you’re here and dedicating so much time and effort to your coursework. Be inspired, give it all you got, and be grateful for the chance to do so.

  6. Carly says:

    My advice is to treat medical school like a job. By that, I mean set aside time each day to study, set goals, and when the job is done, let it be done. You will find that medical school is not a 40-hour per week commitment, but much more. If you do not set aside specific study time, you will find yourself either A) not studying enough and cramming like many undergrads do (except it doesn’t work as well in medical school since there is a lot more to know) or B) feeling like you need to study all the time and eventually burning out. Both situations lead to not doing as well as you could and being more stressed.

    Next, setting goals is important. Medical school is less about beating the competition and more about learning the material to be the best doctor you can (hence why many have chosen to become Pass-Fail). These goals can be anything from a percentage on a test to feeling like you have a mastery of the material to reviewing every lecture on the same day it was given. You can also set shorter-term goals if you feel that helps. Just try to keep them realistic and centered on your own accomplishment, rather than your place relative to all of your really smart classmates. The goals you set will help guide you in terms of how much time you need to set aside to study (more if you fall short, possibly less if you exceed them). Knowing that you have accomplished your goal will make it a million times easier to put down the book and have some down time when your classmates are frantically studying.

    Learn to stop studying and worrying about studying when it is time to stop (i.e. when you have reached your realistic goals). This last point is perhaps the most important, because it gives you balance in your life and will reduce burnout. Your non-study time may be spent on other med-school related activities like research, volunteering or leading student orgs, but don’t forget to include some fun, relaxing time away from med school. Don’t let go of the workouts, music practice sessions, movie dates, or whatever makes you feel like you. Being balanced will make you more productive overall, both when it is time to study and when it is time to relax. Not only that, but you will actually have friends and enjoy your life, and who doesn’t want that?

  7. Peter says:

    Before you worry about anything else, make sure you balance your life.
    Study, socialize, eat, and sleep. The four most important things that people begin to do away with, especially sleep. And the result? Not passing a test or forgetting everything after the test and having to review from square one when the cumulative final comes.
    You may say “party hard play hard”, but you can only maintain that lifestyle for so long. And med school is certainly not a place to skip on sleep and rest.
    Also, procrastination is absolutely a deadly habit in medical school. There’s no way you can do well by memorizing nerves, arteries, veins, muscles, actions, innervations, articulations, fossas, landmarks on bones, landmarks in organs, different organ systems, ……..and the list goes on…the night before your exam or even several days before your exam. It is extremely difficult, and I would highly recommend against trying such a feat in your first year.

    Good luck and don’t procrastinate!

  8. Bradley End says:

    Remember to make a distinction between life and school. If you forget to live your life, medical school is going to feel a lot like going to jail.

  9. Michelle D says:

    Yes, you are a medstudent. But above all, you are a human being. Do not forget to live, laugh, and love! This will be extremely difficult at times, I know from experience. But you CAN lead a balanced, fulfilling life!

  10. Carolyn Davidson says:

    First year med advice is: do not discuss grades. You will drive yourself crazy trying to compete with other people in your class. Just learn what you need to, and do as well as you can, but try not to worry about actual grades (I know that is WAY easier said than done). Residency programs do not care too much about first and second year grades, they care about your clerkship grades. Learn what you need to, and be involved in other things… do your best to have a life. You have all of residency to be sucked into a lifeless hole… :)

  11. Amy Lu says:

    Take advantage of the opportunities and resources at your school, academically related or not! There are a million things out there, don’t ever be afraid to ask and find out more!

  12. Adam says:

    Find people you love to spend time with and keep them close

  13. Babak Zaker Shahrak says:

    Think back often to why you came to medical school. If it’s a good reason, it will re-energize you. If it was a bad one, well, it’s better to find that out early (but you’ll probably have found some good ones to spare along the way.)

  14. Babak Zaker Shahrak says:

    Think back often to why you came to med school. If it’s a good reason, you’ll be energised. If it’s not, well, it’s better to know that early, but anyway, you’ll likely have picked some up along the way.

  15. Anna says:

    Remember to spend time with family and friends!

  16. Becca Hartog says:

    In getting into med school, you’ve probably worked harder than the rest and compared yourself to others to set your own standards for how high to achieve. Once in med school, that mentality is almost reversed. You will start to doubt yourself and tear your hair out if you compare yourself to others. Only you know how many hours you will need to master the material, and only you know what level of mastery you’re comfortable with. Graciously remind yourself that you’re fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful and intelligent classmates who keep you on your toes, but don’t let it drag you down if you’re no longer the best student; you’re now in a class full of people who were once the best at their previous school. Instead of basing your goals on your classmates, stay focused on why you went to med school in the first place and what your own goals are. Ultimately, this will make you a better doctor and a happier person.

    Believe it or not, med school is fun! You’re learning interesting stuff and you don’t have to give up your life to do so. In fact, keeping up with non-med school activities that you love will help you keep up your confidence and stay you true to yourself, even if the activity is staying close with family, hanging out with friends, getting to the gym, or reading. As another person said, life doesn’t “re-start” sometime later; it’s happening now. I like to think of med school as training for life in internship and residency, so I focus on goals like eating right and keeping up with workouts since these are MY priorities. Achieving these goals now gives me the confidence that I’ll be able to balance them later, when demands are greater. Ultimately, don’t let anyone else tell you how you should be spending your time. Only you know the best way to keep yourself balanced and productive.

  17. Adam says:

    Don’t take the advice “P=MD” too seriously, the classes you take 1st and 2nd year prepare you for the boards so it behooves you to study hard!

  18. Michelle says:

    Hello first years and congratulations on beginning the long (but fun) road to becoming a physician. The posts I have read so far give excellent advice, some of which I wish I had as a first year. Here are some additional things I wish I knew and what I told my little sister who is now a first year medical student:

    1. Medical school is a very rewarding but also very humbling process. Many of us were at the top of our classes for most of our lives. You are now in a class of people who are very bright and all of you cannot be at the top of your class in medical school. Remember that this does NOT mean that all of you cannot make outstanding doctors.

    2. Learn to focus on YOUR learning. Transitioning to medical school is tough and many students have a tendency to go crazy about their studying. It will seem like all of your classmates have all the cranial nerves memorized before you do and know all the biochemical pathways before you can even finish writing “oxidative phosphorylation.” Great for them. Sometimes it is good to just block out all the chatter that worries you and focus on strategies that work for you. Here are some that worked for me:
    -Color coded nerve and arterial diagrams. Parasympathetics were always in light green,
    visceral sensory in dark green, arteries in red, etc.
    -Flashcards for diseases and traits, classes of drugs and mechanisms of action, etc. Note:
    don’t rely on store made ones (except maybe for pharm due to sheer volume). Make your own.

    3. First two years actually affords you time to do other things like shadowing. Once you have transitioned, if you find yourself fascinated by a particular lecture or disease, contact the professor or another doctor who works with those patients. I only realized second year how much this supplemented my learning and wish I had done it more during my first year. Usually the physicians loved having students and did not expect much in the way of background knowledge. It gets you exposed to patients early and puts your book learning into a clinical context.

    4. Do not forget the importance of friendship and comradery in medical school. Find people to study with who don’t make you feel behind. Hang out with them on the weekends. Get frozen yogurt with them after a frustrating anatomy lab. Remember that these people will be your colleagues and will help you take care of your future patients. They will get you through extremely trying times during medical school and will celebrate your graduation with you.

    Here are a list of resources I found particularly helpful during the first two years:

    BRS physiology
    Goljan’s Rapid Review of pathology
    Abbas Immunology
    Lilly’s for cardiology

    Good luck!

  19. FatCat says:

    A good way to approach first year classes is to use board review books. Those books will not only tell what things are absolutely important to know, they also help you understand why you are remembering these things. Understanding how things work and why they are clinically relevant will go a long way in helping you to memorize the tiniest bits of information.

  20. Gups says:

    My advice for 1st years would be enjoy life as much as possible. It might not seem plausible now, but the truth is that you will never have as much free time as you did as a 1st year student. So take make sure you take advantage of your first year to enjoy life as much as possible. Play some sports, watch a movie, go to a concert, or just go out with friends; whatever you do, just make sure to have some fun.

  21. tink says:

    Do whatever it takes now and then to forget you are in medical school. This will keep you sane and healthy so you can keep studying.

  22. Physio Doc 2 Be says:

    Don’t forget to be yourself. It is easy to think you have to study with every waking moment, but you don’t. Run, lift, go to concerts, play with your dog, whatever, but spend some time doing things for yourself. Study hard and study often, but don’t forget to take care of you.

  23. Phillip says:

    First year medstudents all have different needs, interests, and obligations. Balance will always be important, so it’s important to keep yourself healthy; physically with sleep, food, and activity, emotionally with friends and family, academically with pre-reading and post-reading, and socially with exploring the city and school where you are.

    The big thing that no one thinks about is doing these things when they are available because genuine crises can arise. You just can’t plan for sad events like a death or illness in the family or even happy events like the birth of a niece or nephew. So, if you have an hour and focus, study. It’s much easier to do that than trying to study in a hospital waiting room or on a plane. Also, it’s much less taxing on family relationships and your own conscience to be ahead than have to miss events because you need to catch up for an exam.

  24. Court says:

    First, don’t buy all the books they mention in the syllabus and/or the first day. Wait to hear from other classmates or 2nd, 3rd, or 4th years. You will need an anatomy book, but otherwise stay sane and save yourself some money.

    However: the Lippincott visual series is wonderful for visual learners (like me) and I used them for biochem and physiology. Good luck.

  25. P. Tran says:

    Preread. Postread. Annotate. Do practice problems. Study. Eat well. Sleep well. Have fun… but not before exams.

    And most importantly, don’t let school get in the way of your education.

  26. Sanchit Gupta says:

    Be diligent, but don’t forget to have fun!

  27. Fiore Mastroianni says:

    The point of going to medical school is to be a great doctor, not a great medical student. Work every day at something that will let you do better for your patients, and every day can be exciting and purposeful.

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