[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- For MR, Siegelman’s Body MRI covers everything, including breast, but is unfortunately getting out of date.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.
Great website man. I found this by using google alone. We have come a long way since Camp Sabra. I am finishing my prelim med year and moving on to Rads in July! Hope to hear from you soon.
Been a long time! That’s awesome. Hope you’re enjoying that last little bit of clinical medicine before the big switch. Let me know if I can help out anytime.
Hi, I’m a junior radiology resident from Canada. This is an incredible, practical website. It offers such great advice that I feel like you’re my senior resident. Thanks so much for helping sift through such an overwhelming abundance of resources, and helping me focus what little energy/time/money I have. Do you have any advice for actually how to study, memorize, or review knowledge over the course of multiple years of residency? Any advice, as well, on review courses, conferences, research, and/or fellowships?
Thanks! You’ve touched on some topics that I need to cover. I’m taking the Core exam in a month and have a series of posts forthcoming about Core review, question banks, other materials, etc. I hope to circle back and touch on some of these other topics around the same time. There’s always a tension between giving specific advice (that doesn’t generalize well across different programs) and broad advice (that can sometimes be almost meaningless), but I do think there’s some space there to be helpful.
My super brief teaser answer is that when starting out, it’s helpful to split your pursuit of knowledge into anatomy and common path/aunt minnies. It’s actually very easy to go through radiology looking for abnormalities and doing decent job without really hammering down on the anatomy. As you advance though, lack of anatomy knowledge becomes a bigger and bigger problem (especially as you need to be better than the surgeons looking at their scans if you want to add value). So taking time to really learn anatomy is important. And it’s something you’re going to have to do and redo over and over again until it sticks, then refresh on again every so often. Then I personally want to know the things I’ll see routinely (which are in books but also come with daily service work) and the things that are silly but are pathognomonic (Aunt Minnies). Top 3 and Aunt Minnie’s atlases are great for this highest-yield case review and don’t take too long to go through for each rotation, allowing you to at least have heard of/seen some of these, giving you a foundation for when you see it again in conference etc.
Other than AIRP, I’ve never been to a review course (and no one from my program does either), so I have no special insight into which of the many (Duke, Huda, etc) are best.
Check back in the next couple months!
Hi, I’m going to start my radiology resident next month, excellent website, incredibly useful, thanks a lot !!!
I feel like the anatomy topic you are touching is particularly significant, since -as my attending always says- 90% of radiologists don’t have a deep foundation in anatomy. Do you have any recommendations concerning anatomy resources?
The other thing, which I believe is generally underestimated, is the “you gotta add value over the surgeons” statement. The real difficulty in radiology doesn’t come from knowing every pathology, it comes in my opinion from having to understand every specialty as if you were an expert in it, so you can really guide the clinician towards a better decision: The presence or absence of an A. thyroidea ima, the course of the hepatic artery, the state of the mesorectal fascia.
You can probably be a “good” radiologist if you train your eye to see every pathology, but you can never be a great radiologist without understanding the clinical implications of your findings and without really knowing your patients’ history.
Besides that, kudos as always for the recommendations, I think you are the premier resource on this topic net-wide and have been for some time and I have never gotten a bad tip from you. I believe we all hope for more recommended reading from your pen! If I had one request, it’d probably be that you touch upon the online resources that exist, starting from radiopaedia, to RadPrimer, R-ITI and upon mobile apps.
I think that we are headed directly into an era where these resources are going to become more and more significant to learning radiology and the earlier we understand how to use them, the better.
e-Anatomy is the most robust resource out there, though it’s pricey. Ultimately, as anatomy is foundation of everything we do, it’s probably worth it. I like Fleckenstein’s, but at this point a static book atlas in 2016 is pretty antiquated. HeadNeckBrainSpine is good for resident-level neuroanatomy but certainly not enough for the subspecialist. The Stanford MSK MRI anatomy is better than nothing but generally insufficient. Nothing else great online for the other body parts, StatDx anatomy is okay-ish but I don’t love it.
Thanks for the idea, I’ll make an update with the online stuff soon, that’s definitely what people are most likely to use on a daily basis. There will be a lot more radiology posts this summer/fall.
What’s your opinion on the “Diagnostic Imaging” Series (Amirsys)? The idea seems enticing (bullets, high yield etc.) but they are bloody expensive…
The content is the same as StatDX of course, but I find it impossible to use StatDX, every time I tried ended with me nearly throwing the computer out the window.
They’re nice quality books, really good printing and image quality. StatDX has more pictures overall, otherwise content is analogous (though the books by their nature are organized for both reading and reference, whereas StatDX is more of a reference tool). Still, I’m not convinced they’re worth the money. Our department has a bunch in its library, which helps if one is interested, but I’d only actually buy a particular volume or two up if I had a strong focused interest and a large book fund to burn.
I have a few queries..
I currently have Grainger and Allison, Mayo GI series, MSK MRI by Helm, Fundamentals of MSK by Helms.
I would like to know if it is worth buying Abdominal imaging by Sahani (I like the way it is put up). Will it be a good buy. And regarding MSK, is the book by Pope a good alternate to Greenspan or requisites? Please advice as there are not much reviews on these two books
2.) For case review, Is radprimer/ Qevlar an alternate or adjunct to Case review series/ rad cases?
1) Haven’t read Sahani or seen the book in person. The Amazon preview looks nice. There are only so many $300+ books a person can have (0? 1?). It wouldn’t be necessary as a resident but looks like a nice reference. Pope is a lot longer and more readable than Requisites. The main benefit of Requisites MSK is that it covers the basics for a good price, otherwise it’s not that special.
2) Radprimer can be an alternate (7000 questions is a lot). I would say Qevlar is an adjunct. It’s much less complete and most useful as a final push during dedicated Core review to hit some high points and give yourself a bolus of Core-style questions.
Thanks for your opinion.
Keep writing, I enjoy reading your posts.
When am I going to get to post my oped????
Never. Just never.
Coming soon: The Omar Corner; stay tuned
0.0% chance my friend.
Excited about the new upcoming Omar Corner. Ben, any updates on when it will post?
I can’t believe he’s recruited you to his impossible dream.
The Omar corner is likely to yield a lot of extra traffic. I hope your server can handle it.
Looking forward to it as are many others I’m sure.
You know he hasn’t and won’t ever actually write an Omar Corner article anyway :)
I’m offended at your obstructionist attitude. Give the people what they want, clamoring in the streets! “Omar, Omar, Omar…”
Maybe you’re right…
a group of us residents were at dinner last night. Somehow the topic of your website came up. We had noticed there is a lot of support for the Omar corner…any update on when this miracle of literature may appear? fans are eagerly awaiting.
I’m still awaiting the submission to see the magic.
Hi Ben, thanks for sharing this wonderful post! I’m a radiology resident in Australia and I would love to see a post about your recommended daily study strategy (not necessarily study targeted to a particular exam but to be a competent radiologist), as well as your thoughts on the future of AI in radiology.
Thanks! I need to write both of those, thanks for the suggestions.
Pls which is a better atlas weir or fleckemateins.
Also which is better grainger and Allison or brant and helms
Pls which is a better atlas for a radiology resident weir or fleckenstein
Thank you , they both have new editions now thanks
I haven’t seen either new edition. I liked Fleckenstein’s better previously, but I think e-anatomy is more usable these days.
This is Sam. Any news on the Omar Corner addition to your website? Its been a while since we heard any news.
Still waiting to experience the majesty
Good evening pls can you do a review on Grainger and allisons diagnostic radiology vol 1&2
Sutton vol 1 and 2
Probably not in the short term
Hello Dr. Ben Whiite,
Thank you for making such a useful informative post for radiology residents and fellows.
I request you to mention some websites/softwares which provide anonymised stacked DICOM images for interpretation in quiz format so that we can test ourselves.
Dr. Shubham Singhal
I don’t think there are any free ones that have stacks that I can think of. Two options that cost money are MRI online and CaseStacks.
Thank you for the response. I will surely check them out. I got to know about MRI online from your post only. I was using it previously and I found out to be really helpful.
I would like to add one website I found out recently which helps in learning radiology reporting.
I have just gone through the free trial modules on this website. They look promising, however they are a bit limited in number of cases and their variety. Just sharing here for good of everyone.
Hello Dr. White!
Was wondering if you had a preference of case books for a R1/R2 resident (Not necessarily specifically for Core)? Is A Core Review your pick still or is something like RadCases/Case Review more oriented to learning from the beginning? Trying to find ways to make the information stick, and figured casebooks might help for complicated subjects like Neuro!
They’re all fine, though I personally also felt that the style of CRS was my least favorite of the three overall. That said, the quality of all these series across the board is heterogeneous and changes by section. For cases earliest on, I would consider Aunt Minnie’s Atlas and Top 3 Differentials to be good first-pass books (to be supplemented with dedicated subjects after).
We went Omar!
and now we want Omar!