Essential things to buy before starting Medical School


Most medical students describe their first year at school as exhausting, vague, and overwhelming. Another thing that first-year medical students suffer from is the lack of information about which tools/textbooks you need to excel in your first year, which is super important for USMLE. In this article, we will briefly review some tools and books you will need as a first-year medical student.

Must have tools/textbooks:


Littman stethoscope, Cardiology III

Littman stethoscope is one of the best stethoscopes in the world. This brand offers the highest quality stethoscopes that most esteemed cardiologists use. If you want to shine and be ahead of the competition, you should definitely get this tool.


Riester Ri-Mini Otoscope/Ophthalmoscope Kit 

While you might not use an otoscope/ophthalmoscope on your first day of medical school, it still an excellent idea to get this bundle deal from Riester in case you get a chance to perform an eye or ENT examination.

Sphygmomanometer AKA Blood Pressure Cuff

Vive Precision Aneroid Sphygmomanometer

Learning how to take accurate blood pressure recordings is one of the first skills you will learn as a medical student. However, you should master doing this task with a manual sphygmomanometer before moving on to digital brands.


Digital, Analag, or Smartwatch. Your preference, just make sure to always have one.

If you go to the hospital frequently, you might notice that every physician has a watch. The reason behind this is that you will need to time several procedures and tasks, including taking the pulse of patients.


A penlight is an important tool to see how the pupils react to the light test. This maneuver will become standard procedure if you start doing shifts in the trauma emergency department.

Reflex Hammer


Pocket-sized notebook, Foldable clipboard

MDpocket Clipboard

Owning a clipboard will make your life much easier by allowing you to write down important notes, hold on to your evaluation forms, and place illustrations for optimal learning.

Bates’ Pocket Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking

Mastering how to examine your patient from head to toe is the most important skill you’ll ever learn in medical school. Bates’s guide is the go-to textbook for all US-based medical students when it comes to physical examination and history taking.

Maxwell pocket guide

This pocketbook contains crucial information that you’ll need for exams and the wards. This book has ACLS protocols, normal lab values, serum drug levels, common healthcare equations, etc.

Netters Anatomy

A common theme you will hear in medical school is that mastering anatomy is the first skill that a doctor needs to learn. Therefore, if you want to learn everything about anatomy, there is no better textbook than Netter’s anatomy, which has amazing illustrations and explanations of everything about the human body.

Takeaway message

Being equipped with the right tools/textbooks is as important as working hard in medical school. Hopefully, this article will help you choose what equipment you need to shine in your first year. If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to ask in the comment section below.

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