Oxford Cases in Medicine and Surgery – textbook review

Here is my first textbook review! Today I want to tell you about this great textbook titled Oxford cases in medicine and surgery. I used this book a lot when preparing for my latest medical school exams, and it was super helpful. IMG_4242

In my opinion, this textbook is great for students in their clinical years of medical school. It is organised around clinical cases and common presentations that you will come across in hospital.

Why is this book so good?

This is not a standard textbook with lots of dense text, but it is structured around clinical cases with medical and surgical presentations.
Every chapter explores a common symptom that patients may present with; the chapters all have a core case (which is explored in great detail), some additional short cases (same symptom but different diagnosis), a series of viva questions, and end with a few MCQs around the subject.

Each case starts with a brief patient scenario, and as you IMG_4238work your way through the case more information is revealed to ultimately guide you to the diagnosis. Getting through a full chapter takes between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on how confident you are on the topic.

How to use it?

The best way to use this textbook is to start at the beginning of a case, cover the answer and try to come up with your own explanations for the question before checking the model answer. Once you’re satisfied you’ve understood the concepts explained move on to the next question and so on, until the case is complete. If you are really stuck with a question, I found that the explanations in the book are very helpful and detailed!

When to use this textbook?

I think the most useful use for this resource is to test and consolidate your knowledge after you’ve been on placement and studies the relevant subjects. It requires active thinking and it’s most effective if used in an interactive way, so if you have very little or no knowledge around a topic, this is probably not the best starting point!
It’s also very good for reviewing specific presentations in a group, with one person asking the question and the other trying to answer them.

Last month I sat my 4th year exams in medical school, and I definitely think using this textbook helped me prepare for these exams. If your medical school exams are clinical and based around patient scenarios, this is the book for you!
The things this book helped me with are:
– structure my answers (especially in short answer exams)
– think about the ‘next steps’ in investigating and managing a patient
– answer viva questions in OSCEs (these are practical examinations)

In summary

This book is a great tool for all medical students in their clinical years, especially when it comes to consolidating your knowledge and ensuring you are able to initiate the appropriate investigations and management for a patient.
If you prefer textbooks to read more passively, this is not the book for you!

Both myself and my friends who used this book found it incredibly helpful, so I would definitely recommend it!

Have you used this book or similar ones? I’d love to hear your experiences!!!

The book can be found on Amazon: Oxford cases in medicine and surgery, 2nd edition




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