I'm totally going to steal the idea from Action Potential and post about some of the books I have been using for medical school. Books are not for everyone. And most medical schools, including mine, print out a lot of material for their students.
However, most of our professors are trying to re-invent the wheel when it comes to medical school topics. Did you know, a lot of the legwork has been done for you? There are publishers/authors who have already organized BioChem into discrete sections; you don't have to do it again!
So please take my completely biased opinions of which medical school books are worth it and which aren't.
Histology by Ross and Pawlina
Oh the details! At first, I thought I needed an Atlas that was basic, but then I realized that I needed to know EVERYTHING about histology. This book has diagrams, explanations, lots of slides and incredible details. I would highly recommend if your school is focusing on details of histology and how all the tissues function. Also, it's good to see as many types of slides of tissues as you can find.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Junqueira's Basic Histology
Yay for lack of details? If you are looking for a brief overview with few clinical correlations of histology, this is the book for you. At 400 pages (and large font), this book is half the amount of information of Histology by Ross and Pawlina for the same price. I was sorely disappointed. The level of details might be enough for a college histology course (maybe?), but it certainly isn't enough for medical school.
Rating: 2 out of 10
How the Immune System Works
I cannot really talk this book up enough. It's amazing. The writing style is very conversational, but it lends itself extremely well to understanding the CONCEPTS behind immunology. And let me tell you, immunology is almost all about the concepts of what is going on. Many of our lectures were told as a sort of story about what actions the body takes and why. I believe that's the best and only way to approach immunology, and this book is an excellent companion to that. Also, it is super cheap. So yeah. My only critique is that some of the figures were kind of difficult to understand, and there should have been more of them.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Honestly, this was probably one of the worst taught courses so far at my medical school. As such, I thought I would buy Lippincott's to supplement my learning (or lack thereof). It was marginally useful. The pictures were good (as you might expect), but the explanations were just meh. And I didn't feel that the material was organized in a logical way at all. It just sort of jumped from one topic to the next without tying anything together. Sort of like our biochemistry class. Which is ironic because then they ask you to tie everything together in the exam. I'M NOT A MINDREADER PEOPLES. Anyways, good if you understand complicated pictures. Not so good otherwise.
Rating: 4 out of 10