[This updated/revised article was originally published way back on December 21, 2013]
There are lots and lots of radiology books out there.
Rather than list oodles of options, I’ve made a short editorial selection for each section. There are obviously many good books, but your book fund is probably not infinite and you need to start somewhere.
First-year residents, in addition to
Brant and Helms Core Radiology, might start with these recommendations prior to buying any additional texts that they are unlikely to read at length during their first exposure to each section.
General / introductory / review
- Core Radiology is, I believe, a better foundational book than B&H (definitely more digestible) and a nice review at the beginning of / prior to intense board review. Detailed review is available here.
- Crack the Core (Vol 1 & Vol 2 & “War Machine”), the self-published “First Aid” for the CORE exam. Written by the pseudonymous “Prometheus Lionhart, MD,” these self-published volumes are generally loved for their conversational tone, high-yield approach, and lack of competition. Innumerable typos have continued to slowly improve over the years, but these are still walls of text without enough pictures, so you’ll have to find your images elsewhere, perhaps with his Case Companion.
- Aunt Minnie’s Atlas and Imaging-Specific Diagnosis
- Top 3 Differentials in Radiology
- Search Pattern is an interesting little book. It’s a cheap, practical, bullet-point list of how to actually approach different exam types (e.g. a search pattern for an MRI IAC or a CT soft tissue neck). This is the kind of resource that can be helpful to have at the workstation on rotation to help you approach new exam types and keep an eye out for things to look for.
- Fundamentals of Body CT is similar in content to the chapters in B&H, but it’s easier to carry around and more concisely/clearly written.
- For MR, Siegelman’s Body MRI covers everything, including breast, but is unfortunately getting out of date. CT and MRI of the Whole Body is more up-to-date if there’s a copy you have access to (it’s too expensive to buy). Fundamentals of Body MRI would be a cheaper alternative if looking for a dedicated text.
- Plain film competency deserves Felson’s Principles of Chest Roentgenology.
- Despite the name, Fundamentals of Body CT does a nice job of introducing thoracic CT as well (and was recently updated). It’s basically a must-buy.
- For a more definitive source, you could read Webb’s Thoracic Imaging: Pulmonary and Cardiovascular Radiology. It’s especially well-loved for its treatment of interstitial lung diseases. It’s very expensive and a good volume to borrow. Webb also has the best text on High-Resolution CT of the Lung, another great and pricey reference to maybe not buy.
- Mayo Clinic Gastrointestinal Imaging Review has every modality but is the fluoro resource you would need (assuming people will teach you the protocols) if you want to really go deep on the dying art.
- The cheaper solution is Genitourinary Radiology: The Requisites. The Textbook of Uroradiology is pricier but quite nice.
- Helm’s classic Fundamentals of Skeletal Radiology is very similar to his chapters in B&H and isn’t really necessary to have in addition. And, like his B&H chapters, the MRI sections are comically short. A decent one-stop next step is Musculoskeletal Imaging: The Requisites. A very pricey text that you could borrow would be Orthopedic Imaging: A Practical Approach.
- Musculoskeletal MRI (originally another Helms’ title) is the book to read to gain a dedicated foundation in MSK MRI.
- Arthritis in Black and White is the most beloved breakdown of what is often considered a difficult topic.
- Brant and Helms is generally sufficient to start if you have it.
- Otherwise for further reading, Neuroradiology: The Requisites is a good next step (ignore the puns).
- For the budding subspecialist:
- For more cash, Osborn’s Brain is the worldwide favorite (just intracranial stuff though, no head/neck or spine). There is a new Essentials of Osborne’s Brain for trainees that is watered down nicely and 1/3 the price.
- For an H&N bible, see if there’s a copy of Head and Neck Imaging lying around somewhere in the department (and while you’re at it, check for a copy of Diagnostic Imaging: Spine too). For dedicated temporal bone, go for Swartz’s Imaging of the Temporal Bone.
- Mettler’s Essentials of Nuclear Medicine Imaging is it.
- Ultrasound: The Requisites is excellent and even covers OB/fetal imaging.
- Introduction to Vascular Ultrasound for those who love vessels.
- You don’t need to buy anything for IR if you don’t like IR.
- The concise reference is the Handbook of Interventional Radiologic Procedures.
- The textbook, for those so inclined, is Requisites. For the fellowship-bound, Abrams’ Angiography is a common favorite.
- You don’t necessarily really need an “ER” book, as most subspecialty books subsume both chronic and acute conditions. Harris & Harris’ The Radiology of Emergency Medicine was the classic text but is out of date and out of print. A modern alternative is Emergency Radiology: The Requisites. A cheaper alternative is nothing.
- For pre-call prep, the new site CaseStacks has a lot of good simulation material for a reasonable price. Code benwhite gets a 15% discount.
- Cardiac Imaging (RadCases) is very cheap these days.
- Cardiac Imaging (A Core Review) is okay.
- Cardiac Imaging (Rotations in Radiology) has an absurd price.
- Pediatric Imaging: The Fundamentals covers the breadth of pediatric radiology nicely at the resident level.
- You probably don’t need a dedicated mammography text. Nothing, or the BI-RADS manual is just fine. If you feel a hankering for further study, Breast Imaging: The Requisites is a pretty high-quality resource.
- For case review, Breast Imaging: Case Review Series is well done overall. The “A Core Review” entry for breast is generally felt to be a weaker entry in the series.
- For those interested in mammo, Diagnostic Imaging: Breast is a modern monolith (like all entries in the series, lots of bullet points, overpriced).
- Duke Review of MRI Principles is awesome
- Huda’s Review of Radiologic Physics is probably overkill in the era of the Core Exam with its focus on generally relevant/practical physics. War Machine is more fun.
- Imaging Atlas of Human Anatomy
- e-Anatomy (subscription)
- Free anatomy resources: UVA’s Introduction to Radiology, Radiology Masterclass’s CT Brain anatomy, RAAViewer software,
HeadNeckBrainSpine(RIP), FreitasRad’s Musculoskeletal MRI, Stanford’s MSK MRI, CaseStacks, Learning Neuroradiology, etc etc.
- A Core Review is generally the newest/best casebook series (overall mostly supplanting Case Review Series and RadCases). The question format is most-tuned for the Core, with all subjects now available. All of them have integrated physics. Breast is based on the BIRADS 4 and needs to be updated.
- Between the more established Case Review Series and Radcases, I believe RadCases is generally superior. There are more entries in the Case Review series, however, so it’s not possible to do RadCases exclusively if you want a case review in every subfield.