Best Books for Medical School: Fourth Year

This list is part of a series of articles about the best books for medical students. Click on the Med School Books Main Page to see other lists including the best books for each year in medical school, the best books for each clinical rotation, and the best books for USMLE Steps 1, 2, and 3. 

Look, I get it. You are a fourth year student now and you are tired of reading textbooks. Let me suggest just a few books that every fourth year should read.  Remember, you are about to apply for, interview for, and rank your prospective residency programs: i.e. the most important training step in your career.  Once those interview are over, kick back with a Frommer's Travel Guide and watch "Like an M4".  Live it up while you can.

  • Updated April 2015

First Aid for the Match:

The 'First Aid' series is usually at the top of my lists they again deserve that honor for 4th year students. First Aid for the Match is a must read for anyone preparing your residency application, going on interviews, ranking programs, and getting ready for the match. You really need to know how it all works or you might hurt your chances of matching. Read this book.

The Successful Match:

This book is written in a 'Self-Help' format but contains loads of great information. It is highly recommended by nearly all of its readers and is ranked on the top of most "How To Match" resource lists. You aren't doing much else this year!  Read it and you will not be disappointed.

The Residency Interview: How to Make the Best Possible Impression:

Dr. Freeman's book is well known to many 4th year medical students. She has a wise and logical approach to making a good impression. The truth is, most of us are not actually very good at putting our best foot forward. Take some time (something you don't lack during the 4th year!) and read through this book. At the very least, it will help you enter your interviews with more confidence.

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Medical Specialty:

Are you a fourth year and still undecided?  I know the feeling; it is terrible. Along with the Careers in Medicine website, this book was very helpful and influential in my decision making process. It helps readers decide what is most important to them and helps delineate what makes different specialties unique.

Pocket Medicine:

If you have not already purchased this resource (or a similar one that fits in your white coat) you really ought to find one.  During your sub-internship months you will all of the sudden have some real responsibility and you will need to look up vital information on the fly. Pocket Medicine is a great resource to quickly read about the next admission you are picking up so you can prepare yourself.


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