A Doc's Life is a underground Medical Blog about some poor Singapore doctors. They are sibei sian and very buay song. Best practices not observed!
(Warning: Grammar is non existent in this blog. Those obsessively compulsive about good English please go no further and book an appointment to see your psychiatrist in Singapore.)

Monday, October 31, 2005

Some really heavy stuff.....

Ever so often as a kiasu student, we buy the thickest and most comprehensive book out there. After paying hundreds of dollars we realize, !Shit! cannot finish studying, so we settle for the smaller "Mama" versions. And then you find out in horror you can't remember EVERYTHING in the "Mamas" and its too heavy to read in the toilet.

Finally, you end up buying those little handbooks....the "Babies" hoping that there is enough information in it to help you pass. (If you haven't figured it out, the big ones are called "Papas". NO! NOT Daddies! That sounds really kinky!)

Here are some of those Daddies "Papas" that I can never (ever) finish reading:

Harrison's Principles of Internal MedicineDimensions: 11.1 x 8.8 x 3.1 inches
Weight: 8.9 pounds
2629 pages!!! I never even bought this book coz it was too big to carry home in a bus! (Poor medical student was I.....)

Bailey & Love's Short Practice of SurgeryDimensions: 11.0 x 9.0 x 2.8 inches
Weight: 10.2 pounds
1348 pages!!!! (and its a short practice???.... DOH!)

Robbins Pathologic Basis of DiseaseDimensions: 11.3 x 8.7 x 2.4 inches
Weight: 7.5 pounds
1552 pages of really boring stuff that will cure any insomniacs! (Queen take note!)

Ridley's Believe It or Not Trivia MCQ,
Which of the following is true?

1) One of these books was used as a murder weapon in a homicide. (Yes they are that heavy!)

2) A medical student once had to rip off a page from one of these textbooks because he tua lao sai and there were no toilet paper in the cubicle. (high quality paper ok!)

3) A student used one of these books as a pillow the night before exams and miraculously remembered every single word from the book the next day. (He still failed as he slept on Robbins but was going for his Surgical paper!)

4) If you drop all 3 books from the tower of Pisa at the same time, they will just land on your feet and fracture your toes. (Not asking you to throw killer litter lah, bodoh!)

5) Some medical students have actually read all 3 books cover to cover!

Once in a while, your seniors will be telling you that you must get the thickest and most powderful book in the universe. Don't believe them. They are evil salesman trying to sell you their unwanted textbooks.

I've also been told that "you are only as good a doctor as the book you read." I totally agree...... just that what is the likelihood that you are going to read a 2000-page textbk that is so heavy it causes muscle cramps worse than rifle-over-head???!!!


  1. err...i ever used document files as weapons.... used them to inflict injury on inconsiderate, rude, kiasu commuters who rush into the MRT train and push everyone out of their way. Muahahah! I will go to hell for this.

    2 questions.

    What's internal medicine?

    And if there's "internal" medicine, is there an "external" medicine?


  2. aust med students bf12:23 AM

    most of my textbooks end up as waste... so option 2 seems plausible. muahahahaahaha!

  3. Anonymous12:23 AM

    haha.. do u know harrison's is now available online for free? =P

    most people'd use mama robbins now.. heh

  4. Anonymous1:04 AM

    haha...i have 2 out of the 3 books u mention...
    but i have dorlands dictionary to make up for it. hahaha

  5. Chris6:12 AM

    mmm i should read all the past entries before doc og decides to hide em from us again :P

  6. Anonymous7:58 AM

    poor traveller has a fetish for those in int med? :)

  7. future aussie med student8:14 AM

    hmm will bear that in mind when i get my books next year...hahaRz* ;)

  8. Anonymous9:45 AM

    I know how bad Robbins is.... reading it now... *tears hair out* hahaa I loved that post. Dr Bl Og do some more posts on the texts that you read (or never read) can? Tahnks

  9. Anonymous10:26 AM

    well, i somehow have all the 3 books, and my ikea bookshelf is going to collapse one day...

  10. Anonymous10:28 AM

    I would add one more: Kumar & Clark. I am quite sure I won't be able to finish it before mbbs. Maybe Dr Og did...

  11. medstudent10:35 AM

    hmm..somehow those larger textbks are better..as in they explain concepts a lot better so u REMEMBER them better..its better than reading a concise textbk in pt form and NOT remembering everything..furthermore..u dun haf to read it from cover to cover..u just have to know how to pick out the impt points..

  12. er kumar and clark is quite readable..... I'm so ashame of myself! :P

  13. Anonymous10:56 AM

    nowadays, seem like books are not of much use. type into google and the info are tremendous.

  14. Anonymous10:57 AM

    nowadays, seem like books are not of much use. type into google and the info are tremendous.

  15. Anonymous2:47 PM

    what's more, one can easily find and download for free the whole library of medical texts too. Almost. :P

  16. wife.of.an.un-doctor4:10 PM

    tsk tsk... all these medical texts are taking up too much space on my bookshelves. *plots to get rid of em*

  17. Anonymous5:19 PM

    Can add Nelson Paeds too, or did Dr Og read that cover to cover?

  18. Anonymous7:58 PM

    must include Gray's anatomy

  19. 2BDoc7:59 PM

    OHCM by Warrell :)

  20. pharmacy_student1:03 AM

    Katzung's Basic and Clinical Pharmacology :) How does Dr Bl Og find this one?

  21. australian med student7:25 AM

    small books are not useful unless you read the big ones first.

  22. Anonymous2:29 PM

    best to stick to mama's version unless u are aiming for dean's list!

  23. argh...my eyes...and i thought the trauma of reading these tomes were behind me!! Bailey & Love's was the most unreadable...

  24. not good leh, these kind of posts intimidate the non medical readers here
    'simi si Patho Logic ar? IQ puzzle also Logic ley!'

  25. kc don't be intimidated, i sum up the whole post for you: if you have a girlfriend who is in medicine, she can potentially kill you with one of those sibei tua khee textbooks if you make her angry!

  26. Miss Adelaide Med9:31 PM

    hahaha! yup yup. i have nearly all the text that has been listed here: Papa Robbins, Harrison's, Dorland's, Kumar & Clark!

    i am so guilty of buying the biggest, thickest and probably one of the most costly med text around~ *oops* but they are really good for my PBL tutes!

    add in some Anatomy, Physio and Clinical Examination texts.. and BOOM! there goes my bookshelf.. :(

  27. I find them useful somehow,very detailed and comprehensive. But i only read certain parts,albeit not all!!It's a miracle anyone can finish d whole book. I have to struggle to keep awake even just to finish reading 1 chapter.
    And they certainly are taking up a lot of space :P