The Best Reference Sites For Medical Students

Jackson Chung 14-12-2008

sites for medical students When I’m not writing Mac articles for MakeUseOf, I’m a full-time medical student and I have to say that life as a medical student is insufferably horrible. We commute to hospitals to attend tutorials; and in our spare time, we study. It’s not because we’re extremely hardworking, I wish I was – no, it’s rather because Medicine is a life-long learning process. Even after we graduate, we still have to hit the books.


Besides being a persevering medical student, I’m also addicted to the Web. And so, whenever I can get myself away from my books, I’ll be online to find more sources of study material. Here are some of the better sites for medical students I’ve managed to come up with so far:

MedicalStudent [No Longer Available]

You will find a huge repository of free online medical textbooks along with links to other helpful and informative websites regarding Continuing Medical Eduction (CME) & Board Exams, free medical journals, programs for handheld computers (Palm, Windows), professional medical organizations/societies and patient simulations. This is the “all-in-one” site for every medical student. - website for medical students


Similar to MedicalStudent, this medical site is a source of links to all free (and paid) online textbooks, medical journals, CME and lots more. MedicalMatrix is more thorough and offers specific links based on specialty i.e. clicking on Gastroenterology will return links to textbooks, journals, news, practice guidelines, cases, image repositories, CME, forums and patient education regarding Gastroenterology only.

medical matrix - site for medical information


FreeBookCentre – Medical Books

This site doesn’t only provide free e-books for Medicine, it also includes books for Computer Sciences, Web Technology, Languages and Networking among many others. Their medical database is divided by specialty and comprises of textbooks, handbooks, guidelines, manuals, and journals.

free medical books

Student Book World

Student Book World is actually a project which aims to catalogue and compare the prices of every book available, in order to allow their readers to find the books at the cheapest prices online. Fortunately, they also have a sizable collection of free e-books related to Medicine.

student book world


NCBI Bookshelf

The National Center for Biotechnology Information was established as a resource for molecular biology information, so this is a great source for Biomedical books related to topics like Viral Molecular Biology, Bacterial Nomenclature and Biochemistry. However, their library is slowly expanding to include books about General Medicine and Surgery such as Immunobiology, Human Molecular Genetics, Neuroscience, Parkinson’s Disease and many others. The NCBI also provides a few books in handheld (MobiPocket) format.

ncbi bookshelf

The Merck Manuals

The Merck Manuals for Healthcare Professionals is completely available online for free. The Manuals are basically a series of healthcare books for doctors on Diagnosis and Therapy based on disorders. There is also a version targeted at consumers for home medical reference.


eMedicine is undoubtedly one of the most concise, free medical references available online. Its website has been upgraded recently to feature printer-friendly pages and quicker navigation. All of their articles cover every aspect of both Internal Medicine and Surgery and are extensively peer-reviewed before publication.



The New England Journal of Medicine

The NEJM is a collection of every one of their publications since 1996 and covers almost every known disorder.

RCGP Medical Abbreviations

The Royal College of General Practitioners published an online listing of some of the main standardized abbreviations that may be used when writing patient medical records. These abbreviations come in very handy because most doctors will use them when speaking.

Online Medical Dictionaries

The two most popular medical dictionaries which are Dorlands and Stedmans can be found and referred to online so that you won’t have to clumsily flip through those pages or worse, carry them with you wherever you go.


Medical Mnemonics

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Medicine is extremely taxing and difficult to study. There are hundreds of classifications to memorize and terms to familiarize ourselves with. Mnemonics make it just a little bit easier to remember these little details. MedicalMnemonics is a database just for this. It has online, printable and handheld versions (Palm only) of the database ready at your disposal.

Medical students, I hope you find this listing helpful in your studies. It certainly has helped me along the way. I don’t think I could have survived without eMedicine and a printout of MedicalMnemonics by my side.

If there are any more medical sites for students out there that you know about, please share it with all of us in the comments!

Related topics: Dictionary, Education Technology, Health.

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  1. Serv
    May 10, 2017 at 7:10 am

    Hey, on occasion I get a 400 site message when I view your site. I thought you may wish to know, cheers

  2. Janette Stanfield
    April 14, 2016 at 7:26 am

    Helpful analysis - I was fascinated by the specifics - Does anyone know where my business can get a sample CA CHHS MC 210 version to fill in ?

  3. Micahel R.
    March 2, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Sorry, grammar correction, "no easy task." Talk about embarrassing...

  4. Micahel R.
    March 2, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Kudos, in creating such a valuable web tool. I'm a medical researcher, as well a struggling author, currently deep in the weeds. Pulling together the breadth of medical knowledge concerning, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), is know easy task and the basis of my book; however, your site is a blessing, unexpectedly clicked upon.

    If there is any medical reference research needs, on your part, I could help you with, please inquire. Basically my attitude is "tit-for-tat." You have freely given your talent, which alludes to reciprocation, on my part.

    Thanks You,
    Michael Ridgeway

  5. Jason
    December 17, 2009 at 7:26 am

    another good one...

  6. jouyadeh
    March 25, 2009 at 4:30 am

    Hi every one

    I'm a medical student & I wonder what is the best laptop for a medical student?about details and maybe brands...
    could anyone help me plz?

    thanks in advance.

  7. Jonathan
    March 11, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    How about by Graham Walker

  8. Ben
    January 26, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Cheers for the links, here are some other free med student resources:

  9. Subi
    January 10, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Here is another awesome Med. link:
    Worldwide Research and Collaboration Platform; Design your private e-learning and Telemedicine network.
    Create Clinical Cases, upload images, videos and Promote everything from your own Web.
    Private label MEDTING for your University, Hospital or Medical Office.

    • Jackson
      January 20, 2009 at 6:49 am

      A bit on the enterprise side, but thank you!

  10. ebenezer walrus
    December 30, 2008 at 5:13 am

    here are a few more sites that i often use for reference,this site has very good resources for surgeons , an easy to learn muscle list

    • sarwar ahmadzai
      December 1, 2009 at 6:01 am

      I searched alot for medical site but the only site that i use
      it is
      is the best for everyone

  11. ayeesha
    December 18, 2008 at 7:33 am

    i'm an international first year medical student in london. i just want to thank you for this list. i'm sure it'll be helpful to me. we just finished our first term, it's been fun, yet exhausting!! :)

    • Jackson Chung
      December 23, 2008 at 4:01 pm

      Well, all the best to you and your studies. 5 and a half years will fly by before you know it.

  12. Dental Study Clubs
    December 15, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Also, keep in mind

  13. Charles Knight
    December 15, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Nice post! - any chance that we could get permission to republish all - or an excerpt - with full attribution?


    Charles Knight, editor

    • Jackson
      December 16, 2008 at 1:40 pm

      You'll have to talk to the boss :)

  14. hamdan
    December 15, 2008 at 9:57 am

    How about pubmedcentral? biomedcentral, pubmed, and highwire. Umm.. perhaps i'm too specific to medical and life science journals and (mostly) free.

    • Jackson
      December 16, 2008 at 1:29 pm

      Good suggestions, thanks!

  15. Arvin
    December 15, 2008 at 7:03 am

    Wow, I never knew you are a medical student as well..

    Nice suggestions! Thanks!

    • Jackson Chung
      December 15, 2008 at 7:33 am

      I'm glad you liked them. Hope they come in useful for you.

  16. Tari Akpodiete
    December 14, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    great med student links, how about some for law school too? thanks!

    • Jackson Chung
      December 15, 2008 at 7:32 am

      Another future lawyer? Lol

      • Tari Akpodiete
        December 15, 2008 at 7:35 am

        most of my many many brothers are either lawyers, in law school or planning to go. me? i've continuing my undergrad education (including criminology and journalism) and shooting for writing career covering legal issues and a bit later a Justice of the Peace position.

  17. JARB
    December 14, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Hey there! Thank so much for the post. I'll be starting med school next Aug and this will definitely come in handy!


    • Jackson Chung
      December 15, 2008 at 7:32 am

      Good Luck. I'm sure you will need it :)

  18. CS
    December 14, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    I'm in law school and, when it gets rough, we always joke about attending med school instead. Not because it's supposed to be easier, of course, as your article indicates. Best of luck!

    • Jackson Chung
      December 15, 2008 at 7:31 am

      Law and most other science subjects are the most difficult to study, in my opinion. It's because no one can be naturally talented at it, unlike Design or Music for example. So if one is good at Law or Medicine, that's the result of hard work and meticulous studying.

      • Tari Akpodiete
        December 15, 2008 at 7:40 am

        i disagree here. my family is naturally good at legal stuff. of course, one must study to learn things like specific laws and be able to do research, but some people - myself included - have a very easy understanding of this subject material.

        same with some people who are studying things like medicine and dentistry and the like. they do have to learn stuff, and often do need to study to get facts, but they have a natural understanding to start with.

        even people who are artistic and who are in what might be considered 'creative' fields have to learn things like style and technique, whether they are writers or painters or potters.