Tools & Textbooks

I almost can’t quite believe we’re heading into late October already.  Where has the year gone? On the one hand I can’t wait to start medical school in a few months, on the other I can’t help but think of all the things I need to prepare in the interim and I do wish I had just a little more time before I start.  Planning an interstate move is a much bigger undertaking then I originally thought it would be. Amongst the whole moving thing, vaccinations and such thoughts have inevitably included the items I’ll need to purchase for next year and I figure while I have a disposable income I may as well get a head start on the things I know I will need/ use for sure.

Namely textbooks and stethoscopes. Being somewhat of a bargain hunter I have always been a fan of booko an Australian website that searches a number of online retailers worldwide for the cheapest book prices and returns a list of cheapest to most expensive including shipping.  It’s a brilliant site and I highly recommend it to those who don’t already know about it. Anyway, recently I decided to randomly have a look for a couple of the textbooks that have been recommended to me over the years by friends in medical school.  One of them, a book released this year I am told is very helpful for PBLs and the like.  The book?


While browsing booko I discovered that bookworld had the cheapest price at the time, as they had a monthly special happening in September. With an additional discount if you joined their free “citizen” loyalty program.  I purchased the book for a measly $46 including shipping.  It is now $70.39 for the citizen price, and booko informs me that currently $61.06 is the cheapest price – from US Amazon. The only downside to the cheap price I paid is that the book was not expected to be back in stock for 3 – 5 weeks.  Since I don’t need it immediately I was happy to wait.  I notice the book is now back in stock so hopefully it won’t be long til it reaches me (Note to self: I should follow up on it’s progress).  There are still a couple of textbooks I want to get my hands on, but they can wait until I find a good price for them.

The other purchase I am considering is that of the stethoscope.  Of course, the all important decision for me was always going to be which colour? I decided long ago, after reading many reviews and recommendations that a Littmann Classic II SE would suit me very well, and I love that there are many choices of colour.  Since I don’t have a favourite colour, many of the choices appealed to me, and while I know that it’s just a tool, a large part of me wants to get the prettiest damn stethoscope I can.  Enter the rainbow chestpiece – it just sparkles and shines. I do so like things that sparkle.

I thought that had narrowed down my choice to a Caribbean blue tube. Until that is, I discovered 3M (the company who manufacture said stethoscopes) had recently released a second stethoscope with a rainbow chestpiece – one with a raspberry tube.  And how could I resist? Strangely enough, the colour pink has played a large part of my journey to medical school (some of you will know what I’m talking about) and it has popped it’s head up all over the place.  I think it only fitting that my stethoscope have a pinkish tube.  Behold the beauty that will be mine:

Isn’t she pretty? Alas, I have been informed that while she is available in the USA/ UK she has yet to make it to the Antipodes, although the local suppliers are hoping that she will soon be available.  Since I still have some time, I have decided to wait a month or so and see if she arrives.  If not, I suspect I shall turn my eyes to international waters to acquire the above beauty.  Unless the stethoscope faeries decide to deliver one to my doorstep before I get the chance. 😉

Edited to add: Any textbook recommendations etc. will be greatly appreciated. Share away.


6 thoughts on “Tools & Textbooks

  1. It’s fun buying new gadgets and what-not! …But be cautious about splashing the cash on textbooks. I’m not the only student who has a few rarely used tomes lying around. The best advice is to “wait-and-see”, as tempting as it is to get in early – perhaps even more so when you’re just going to have to pack this stuff into boxes in a couple of months.

    I know you didn’t ask for any recommendations regarding this kind of stuff – but here’s my hot tip, free of charge! 😛 Having done a few interstate moves over the last ten years, I can definitely recommend doing “back-loading”. A much cheaper option!

    • I see your point and am not going out and buying every single book on the list. The books I’m interested in aren’t the basic science ones – the one mentioned and the other one or two that I wish to acquire are along the lines of clinical examination skills and such. More handbook / reference guide then traditional textbook. And I’ll only buy the other couple if i can get them for the right price. Thanks for the advice though 🙂

      • It’s actually the other must have book on my list – I’m just monitoring prices and such before I actually buy it. 🙂

        The one scienc-y book I’m considering is medmaps for pathophysiology but have no plans to actually purchase until I’m sure (I.e. next year) 😉

  2. I have mechanisms of clinical signs which goes well with Talley & O’Connor. I don’t use them much, but they get use for sure. And I have medmaps for pathophys… Again I don’t use it too often, but it’s an excellent book. I used it more this year then last year that’s for sure!

    Either way, how exciting! P.S – I love your potential new steth!!

  3. The pocket-sized (well handbag sized) Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine was recommended to me in first year and I have loved it throughout the course. Get the plastic cover so you can read it in the bath 😀 and don’t buy the (much cheaper) subcontinental version – it’s double the thickness and thus loses its usefulness as a book you can take anywhere!

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