Another common mistake new medical students make is securing a medical dictionary. Usually these are used as incentives for signing up with one of the medical societies that want your money, but as a whole, they are not needed. That’s not to say they are inaccurate or unhelpful, so much as outdated. If you need to look up the definition of a specific medical term, chances are you will be effortlessly turning to Dr. Google or Wikipedia, instead of digging out a book from your shelf and using your mastery over alphabetical order and small print font.
With that being said, there is a small sub-population of people who will argue over which medical dictionary is the best out there. The fact is, they all get the job done to about the same degree and ease. If you have to pick one because your medical book starter set wouldn’t be complete without it, I would say go with Stedman’s Medical Dictionary. It’s the one that has been endorsed by the American Medical Association (AMA), and is one of their incentives for joining (as referenced above). This not only means that you have the opportunity of obtaining it at no additional cost if you were to sign up with them anyway, but it also usually means that they are plentiful and freely given away by other med students who didn’t want it.
Again, it’s a common mistake to buy a medical dictionary. They just aren’t needed. But if you insist on getting one anyway, grab a copy of Stedman’s.