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Recommend books for radiology residency

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For someone starting out in radiology residency, I would recommend the two following books, with the first book being the standard first book that each resident should be reading.


1) Fundamentals of Diagnostic Radiology, by Brant and Helms. ISBN: 9780781761352.


This is a comprehensive book with chapters spanning all of the different radiologic subspecialties. It's the de facto "first book" for all radiology residents to try and get through. Lots of images. The book is aimed at the level of an entering radiology resident. Probably every radiology resident in North America either owns, or has borrowed this book at some point.


2) Primer of Diagnostic Imaging, by Weissleder. ISBN: 9780323040686.


This is also a comprehensive book spanning all radiologic subspecialties. However, it is designed for boards review, and therefore is skimpy on pictures, but long on high-yield bullet points for various radiologic diagnoses. This book can be very useful on call when you are trying to look up key points quickly. However, because of the lack of images, it would not be a good first book to use when you have to look up a condition or disease for the first time.




If you are buying only one initial starter book, I would highly recommend the Brant and Helms book. Once in residency, the department should have more specialized books available to borrow and read.



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As a R1 do you recommend reading B&H or focus more on the clinical rotations (reading surg, ortho, medicine etc...)


What about a book like Squire...?


Do you know what is the latest edition of B&H, or when the next one is coming out?


Do you actually have a list of recommended readings for each general radiology and radiology subspecialties?


(I'll be a radiology resident too! =))



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As a R1 do you recommend reading B&H or focus more on the clinical rotations (reading surg, ortho, medicine etc...)

Hi there,


When we began our PGY-1 year of Rads last year, many of the more senior residents noted that we should use the PGY-1 year to have a life! (Since we'd be reading plenty come PGY-2.)


Although some folks may note to read around your rotations and not bother too much about Rads, given the number of questions you inevitably field about Rads problems when on those rotations, it might be helpful to review some Rads basics. That is, know what a pneumothorax, pneumonia, etc., look like on a chest film. And be familiar with the looks of appendicitis on CT, for example.




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I'm actually on call right now, so I'll start the list, and it'll get continued as I'm able today.


First off, studying during your PGY-1 year is pretty low yield as you really need to be immersed in radiology for any of it to stick.


I would read about the radiology of the disease processes of your patients.


I would also try to get some time on the surgical services, as those are the patients who often have acute imaging needs when on call. As well, knowing what the common surgical procedures for those patients are can be very helpful when interpreting post-op studies.


For example, I never did a urology rotation either as a resident or a med student, so trying to interpret fluoro studies on urostomies, neobladder reconstructions, etc was more difficult than it would have been had I had the chance to scrub in on a few of those cases to see what the heck they are doing in there. Similarly, we "interpret" post-op ortho films all the time, but I really have no idea what, if any value we add to those images, because I have no clue what the orthopods are looking for in those studies (ie. ideal acetebular angles on hip replacements, acceptable amount of polyethylene liner wear in an old prosthesis, etc). I can tell them if I think the prosthesis is loose or fractured, but any monkey should be able to do that.


Finally, if you are going to read anything during the R1 year, I would make it a review of imaging anatomy.


So, here's my recommendations for books.



- Survive!

- Read about your patients, and their imaging. Review all imaging with radiologists; let them know that you're going to be a radiology resident there and they'll play nice with you.

- Hang out with surgeons to see their cases and figure out how imaging changes their management.

- If keen, go to http://www.auntminnie.com, and get a free login. Each weekday, this website has a free Case of the Day, where you are presented with images for a disease entity, and are asked questions regarding the images. After about 4-5 screens, you get the answer to the case, as well as a short radiologically-focussed discussion. The cases are generally pretty well written. If you do these consistently, you'll find yourself getting oriented to the anatomy, as well as start getting attuned to the appearance of abnormal imaging. I would actually recommend doing this, as I did this throughout my PGY-1 year and felt like I learned a lot from it. Also, there are multiple years of old cases of the day in the archives, so you won't run out of material.

- If REALLY keen, also go to the ACR's Case in Point, which is a similar website, but often has slightly more advanced cases.

-Hold off on buying radiology textbooks. There's no point to buying them now. Radiology textbooks go out of date very rapidly. If you absolutely are twitching to buy a textbook, consider making it an anatomy textbook, and start reviewing your anatomy (particularly cross-sectional anatomy).


Radiology Anatomy:

Anatomy in Diagnostic Imaging. Fleckenstein. ISBN: 072169358X


I think this is one of the best cheap imaging textbooks currently available. It will definitely be more than adequate for initial use within a radiology residency.


Imaging Atlas of Human Anatomy. Weir. ISBN: 0723432112


I was given a copy of this atlas by an intern classmate of mine, who was going into Anesthesiology. I think he had considered Radiology before deciding on Anes. Overall, not a bad imaging atlas, but it doesn't go into the same depth as Fleckenstein, and I think Fleckenstein is an overall better value for the money.




Early PGY-2:

- Get Brant and Helms. Start reading it. By the way, the fourth edition was just released, and there probably won't be another edition out for several years, so there's no downside to getting it now.

- Think about getting Weissleder's Primer as well. It will come in useful on call at times.


Fundamentals of Diagnostic Radiology. Brant and Helms. ISBN: 0781765188


This is the de facto introductory radiology book for radiology residents. Probably every radiology resident in North America has either owned, or flipped through this textbook. It's a great first book to have, with book chapters devoted to each subspecialty in radiology (ie. Mammo, IR, Neuro, etc.)


Primer of Diagnostic Imaging. Weissleder. ISBN: 0323040683


This is a great book to have as a junior radiology resident. This is designed as a quick-reference textbook to be used in the reading room. The book has chapters on each subspecialty in radiology, but unlike Brant and Helms, the content is supplied in bullet points and tables. There are few actual radiology images (line diagrams are used as appropriate). This is not the book you would use for the first time to learn about a subject, but if you are trying to look up quick facts about a disease (including relevant boards details), chances are good you'll find it here.




PGY-2 through 5:

- Start cracking on subspecialty books as needed for rotations.



Here are some of the books that I and my classmates have used.



Neuro Requisites. Yousem. ISBN: 032300508X


Probably the best resident-level textbook for Neuro. Lots of jokes, some of which are funny, some of which are tedious. A third edition is in the works and should be out relatively soon.




Felson's Principles of Chest Roentgenography. ISBN: 1416029230


This isn't the book, but it's close. Ben Felson is a very famous US radiologist, who put out the original of this book back in the 1960's. You want to get that old book if possible. It's a programmed textbook, like Dubin's EKG book, with fill in the blanks throughout. A very good first introduction into how to REALLY read chest x-rays, and not that pretend-stuff that they do on medicine rounds.


Thoracic Imaging. Webb. ISBN: 078174119X


I haven't read much chest stuff, but there's a great chest book out by Webb, which I think is the above one.


High resolution CT of the Lung. Webb, Muller, Naidich. ISBN: 0781722780


This is supposed to be the bible of high res CT. There's a bigger version multi-volume compendium authored by Fraser, Muller, and Pare. Of note, Nestor Muller is a chest radiologist and the chair of the UBC Dept. of Radiology. Go Canada!




Musculoskeletal Requisites. Manaster. ISBN: 0323043615


This is one of the very best of the Requisites series. A VERY readable book, also with lots of images. Make sure to get the 3rd edition. This is a comprehensive book, including all modalities. I would get this as my first MSK book.


Musculoskeletal MRI. Kaplan. ISBN: 0721690270


This is a phenomenal first book for MSK MRI. Very readable, lots of images. I like this book a lot.


Musculoskeletal Imaging: A Teaching File. Chew. ISBN: 0781757541


This is supposed to be a very well written collection of MSK cases, designed for review prior to the oral boards. Chew is the head of the U of Washington MSK radiology division. I have not looked at this book, but have heard good things about it from several senior residents. I would start with the first two books, which are textbooks, rather than a case-based book like this one when starting off in residency.


Atlas of Normal Roentgen Variants that may Simulate Disease. Keats. ISBN: 0323043003


Do NOT buy this book under any circumstances. I mention this book only because it is a reading room staple. Every department/reading room has a copy. It's a compendium of all the anatomic variants seen in plain film radiology (primarily bony variants). You'll pull this book out frequently as a junior resident to figure out whether that calcification is truly a fracture, or some weird anatomic variant like an accessory ossicle.




Fundamentals of Pediatric Radiology. Donnelly. ISBN: 0721690610


This is a classic pediatric radiology textbook. Every North American radiology resident has looked at this book. It's very readable. Great book. You probably don't need more than this for general peds work.




Ultrasound Requisites. Middleton. ISBN: 0323017029


Along with the MSK Requisites, these two books are probably the two best in the Requisites series. This is a phenomenally well-written book, and probably all you need (and a little bit more) for ultrasound.


Diagnostic Ultrasound. Rumack. ISBN: 0323020232


Owning this is overkill, but this is a de facto reference standard. I wouldn't buy this book, but it will probably exist somewhere in the reading room because it's so everpresent.



Interventional Radiology:

Vascular and Interventional Radiology. Valji. ISBN: 0721606210


I haven't read this book, (so take this with a grain of salt), but I have heard from other residents that this is supposed to be a very strong book for IR. This is set up as a textbook for IR, rather than a handbook for procedures.


Handbook of Interventional Radiologic Procedures. Kandarpa. ISBN: 0781723582


This is a handbook for reference use in IR procedures. I also haven't read this book, but this book supposedly is directed towards the "how-to's" of the actual procedures themselves. I don't think it's been updated in a long time (this book was released in 2001).



Nuclear Medicine:

Essentials of Nuclear Medicine Imaging. Mettler. ISBN: 0721602010


Mettler is a US oral board examiner. This is a textbook that I haven't read, but I've heard from numerous other residents that it is a wonderful resource for nuclear medicine. I think you should either own this book, or its direct competitor, Nuclear Medicine Requisites.


Nuclear Medicine Requisites. Ziessman. ISBN: 0323029469


I own this book, and it's a wonderful resource. Well-written and concise. A great comprehensive review textbook for Nuclear Medicine. I don't think you can go wrong with either this book, or Mettler's book.












Review of Radiological Physics. Huda. ISBN: 0781736757


Overview book for radiological physics. This is a key book to know for the US ABR (American Board of Radiology) physics exam, which is traditionally taken in September of your PGY-3 year. This book is very thin, but like First Aid for the USMLE Step 1, is a compendium of frequently tested facts. It's very dense and difficult to read, but still pretty much a mandatory purchase for the US ABR exam. I do not know if it is used in Canada.


The Essential Physics of Medical Imaging. Bushberg. ISBN: 0683301187


This is the compendium for radiological physics; it's over 900 pages. One of my classmates actually read through this whole thing, and passed the ABR physics exam. I wouldn't buy this book, but would keep it as a reference for when you need more detail than what Huda can provide.




US Board Review Materials: (books optimized for passing the US American Board of Radiology Oral exams, held in June of your PGY-5 year).

Case Review Series.


This series of books (there's a book for each radiologic subspecialty) are designed for preparation for the US ABR oral exam. Each book is divided into 3 sections, of easy, intermediate, and hard difficulty cases. Each case has pictures and questions on one page, and the answers and diagnosis on the reverse page. They are designed to be used almost like flashcards, where you look at the pictures, and try to answer the questions and give a description and differential before checking the answers on the reverse. Most US residents buy all the books of this series when preparing for this exam.


Duke Radiology Case Review: Imaging, Differential Diagnosis, and Discussion. Provenzale. ISBN: 0397516134


A relatively old book, published in 1997, but covers many classic cases, and their differentials. Worth looking at in the library. Several residents buy this book as a supplement to the Case Review Series.


Aunt Minnie's Atlas and Imaging-Specific Diagnosis. Pope. ISBN: 0781741602


I have not looked at this book before. I have heard that it is similar to the Duke Radiology Case Review book. Many residents buy or look at this book when preparing for the oral boards.


Radiology Review Manual. Dahnert. ISBN: 0781766206


This is a book that is not worth buying for general use. It is a collection of lists of differential diagnoses for literally every radiologic finding; ie. rib notching inferiorly has 15 differentials, while rib notching superiorly has 6 differentials... This book is VERY useful for the US ABR written exam, which is usually taken in September of either the PGY-4 or PGY-5 year, when used to look up answers to old exams. Don't buy this book, but if you decide to take the US written exam, you will probably need Dahnert at some point.

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*bookmark* Great post, thanks muchly!!


Last week I dropped by the bookstore to browse for a review of all things segmental and anatomical.. looked at Fleckenstein, but also came across Moeller and Reif's pocket atlases, which I liked for their portability and coloured line drawings corresponding to the images. Anyone found these books to be useful in practice?


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I will get back to the booklist when I am able. I just realized that I never got around to one of your questions. Squire's is a decent enough med student book, but if you are going into radiology, I would vault right over it and to the resources that I mentioned (B&H, Fleckensteins, Auntminnie's Cases of the Day). Those are much more high-yield.


Unfortunately, I've never heard of the Moeller and Reif's atlases. I think Fleckenstein is a very good book, although not very portable.



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  • 2 years later...
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Hey guys, I'm just wondering what's the latest edition of Brant and Helms? On amazon, I haven't been able to find anything beyond the 3rd edition. Does anyone know when the latest one is coming out? I believe Ian mentioned in a previous post (late 2008) that the 4th edition is already out....I must be missing something here. If anyone knows anything, I'd love to hear.



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  • 10 months later...
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For GI, that Mayo book destroys anything else out there for board preparation purposes, both American and Canadian. It's such a well written book that it's a must have. I don't think you need any other GI books for boards purposes, particularly given that body imaging is such a heavy component of most residency programs. I think it would also be very useful for junior residents to have as well. Lots of great pictures and concise descriptions. One of my favourite books for board review purposes. If they had similar books for the other subspecialties in radiology, I would own them all.


I don't really think there's a really good GU book out there. Dunnick is a GU guru, and the book is one commonly cited to use.


FYI, the Case Review series for both GI and GU were pretty average when I was going through boards (2009). Certainly not standouts in their section.



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The list of books is huge and it is so hard to pick a set as a junior. Everyone has a different opinion and I do not really have a big budget to spend on multiple books on each topics. I guess the requisite series are the ones most residents speak highly about. I appreciate your input .


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I've always found it helpful to look at books in the library to "try before you buy," so to speak. A number of residents are turning towards ebooks and articles (less costly), but I still like having paper to write and highlight on. If you don't mark up your books, the library can be a viable option. Personally, I find the Requisites somewhat difficult to read because of the way the pages are formatted, though the newest editions have improved.

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