Seven helpful learning resources for medical students | Top Universities

Seven helpful learning resources for medical students

By Baurzhan Irisbayev

Updated January 16, 2023 Updated January 16, 2023

Medical textbooks and scientific papers will make up a large percentage of your learning at medical school, deepening your knowledge alongside your lectures and practical classes.  

Like most industries, the world of medicine moves fast and it can be helpful to stay up-to-date with innovations and trends happening now in the field. Keeping on top of the latest discoveries helps me to apply current medical challenges to my studies and creates a good practice for when I become a medical professional.  

These are the top verified medical websites, magazines and social media accounts to follow as a student. 


The PubMed website features over 35 million citations for medical literature, life science journals and online books. It’s free to access and I can use the search function to find information about any area of medicine that I’m interested in. The portal includes data from specialisms across the medical field including dentistry, veterinary medicine, public health and psychology. 

All published articles are carefully checked for the quality of the literature used, content included, availability of articles in foreign languages and evidence of peer review. This means that everything on PubMed is verified and safe to reference in my assignments.  

I find the portal useful in that its home page contains a simple search box and hyperlinks to guides, tools and other resources. When I search a term, PubMed displays the results clearly with the title of each article, list of authors and sources of information. It also provides options for filtering by publication type and date.  

The Lancet

The Lancet, a British, peer-reviewed medical journal, is one of the best-known, oldest and most respected general medical journals in the world. I like to check The Lancet weekly for new research and review articles, editorials, book reviews, correspondence, news reviews and case histories. Everything a medical student needs!  

The journal mainly publishes information on neurology, oncology, infectious diseases and endocrinology, child and adolescent health, gastroenterology and hepatology. As I want to become a rehabilitation doctor, I’m particularly interested in neuroscience articles.  

What I like about The Lancet is that it’s bold in its opinions and position. There were even cases when they challenged the opinion of authoritative international organisations, citing constructive arguments in their journal. This has helped me to think more about challenging traditional thinking within the field.  

Journal of Korean Medical Science

The Journal of Korean Medical Science is an international, peer-reviewed and open access journal of medicine that’s published weekly in English. What makes the journal especially interesting for me is that the newest information about medical discoveries is often published here.  

The journal publishes evidence-based research and articles covering a range of important topics like the clinical evaluation of drugs and other treatments, epidemiological studies of the general population, studies of pathogenic organisms and toxic materials, and toxicity and side effects of therapeutic agents. There’s lots to explore.  

Gray's Anatomy

Gray’s Anatomy is the most popular English textbook on human anatomy. While the first edition was published in 1858, there are now 42 editions, ensuring that the book remains relevant for today’s medical students. 

I like this book because the information is given in simple and accessible language, with bitesize details. I especially like the illustrations of the human body. Remembering every part of the human body can be difficult, especially when you need to remember the translation of each part of the body, nerves, vessels and muscles in Latin. This book makes it feel a lot easier.  

Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR)

Another staple book for medical students, the Physicians’ Desk Reference is an authoritative source of prescription drugs which you’ll find in every doctor’s office, pharmacy, clinic and library.  

In its 68th edition – there's a new version every year to reflect changes in medication – the PDR contains complete, FDA-approved information on drug labels, warnings and precautions, dosages, benefits and images. It also includes data from clinical trials, so I can independently verify the safety of the drugs I study and not be afraid to prescribe them to my patients in the future. 

I keep the PDR handy in my student accommodation and it helps me to prepare for my medical placements when I’m learning on the job.  


With millions of videos to choose from, YouTube is an amazing platform to learn bitesize pieces of knowledge in a visual and fun way. If I’m struggling to understand a topic, or want to learn more about it in my free time, YouTube is the perfect way to do that without feeling like you’re doing the hard work of researching in books and journals.  

One of my favourite channels is Strong Medicine, by a Stanford associate professor. He creates infographics to explain how the main processes in the body occur, dispels various medical myths and adheres to the principles of evidence-based medicine.  

I also enjoy Khan Academy, a channel where medical experts explain the causes of diseases in an accessible way. Armando Hasudungan is an Australian trainee physician who, with the help of drawings, talks about how individual parts of the body function and the causative agents of diseases.  


Like YouTube, Instagram can be another inspirational platform to surround yourself with medical knowledge. While I mainly like to keep my social media platforms personal to check in with friends, I do follow a few medical influencers who impact my thinking as I study. 

Adam Goodcoff uses his Instagram account for lifestyle and medical content, expanding on many health topics with demonstrations and teachings.  

Claudia Green is a yoga teacher and non-traditional medicine student who gives advice based on mistakes she’s made, so others can learn from her experience. She often mentions the importance of taking breaks to avoid burnout and provides study tips, medical advice, and general information about the daily life of a medical student.  

These are just a handful of resources, books, journals and social accounts you can follow. They’ve helped me to stay up-to-date with medical thinking and the latest guidance, so I can get the most out of my studies.  

This article was originally published in January 2023 .

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