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What are the 1st Year MBBS Books?

The most searched question among the fresh medical students is what are the 1st year MBBS books. After burning the midnight oil and struggling hard, the luckier ones got admission to the medical colleges. The real struggle to learn and understand medicine starts from the basics. Students get worried about the syllabus and books of the 1st year MBBS.

It seems quite tough for them to get all the important details at a single time. As professional studies begin, students are also curious to know about the beginning of their lives as medical students. This article completely covers all the important details about what are the 1st year MBBS books. You just need to review the post to get the best-desired answer.

These books vary according to different colleges and universities. There are three basic subjects for 1st year MBBS students.

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry

There are different books for these three basic subjects. These books almost cover the syllabus for 1st year MBBS of various universities.

Before explaining the books for MBBS, there is a thing to focus on. Usually, there are two types of books.

  • Reference books – these books are considered the standards books to follow. This book provides sufficient details about each and every topic. You can easily clear your concept using the knowledge of these books. These books are well renowned with authentic references written by foreign authors.
  • Non-standard books – these books are written in the concise form written by local authors. These books follow the proper headings with a straightforward concept. You can easily prepare for your exams from these books. These books are helpful for quick revision during exam days.

There is a huge list of reference books for every subject to following. Let us have a look at these books to know more about the syllabus for 1st year MBBS.

Books for Gross Anatomy

Gross anatomy covers the details of the visible and macroscopic structures.

Gray’s anatomy for students (South Asian edition)

Gray’s anatomy is one of the best books to understand the minor details of Gross anatomy. It is one of the most famous and important 1st year MBBS books. It covers all the important topics in detail to provide vivid concepts. It consists of two volumes.

  • Volume I – the body, upper and lower limb, abdomen, pelvis, and perineum
  • Volume II – thorax, back, head and neck, and neuroanatomy

There are also chapters available for regional anatomy. Every chapter illustrates the conceptual overview with the regional anatomy and surface landmarks. This book also provides multiple clinical cases at the end of every chapter to facilitate the students in every possible way. In addition, it also contains multiple line diagrams with questions and their answers. These diagrams are helpful for the students to learn and draw.

 BD Chaurasia’s textbook of anatomy

This book is followed by most Asian students to learn Gross anatomy. It is one of those 1st year MBBS books that you will find in majority of Asian student shelves. It is written very easily with headings and key points to memorize in long-term memory. It also contains multiple-choice questions at the end of every chapter for the ease of students.

It is quite handy and valuable enough during the exam preparation. This book is available in four different volumes with general anatomy as a separate book.

  • Volume I – upper limb and thorax
  • Volume II – lower limb and pelvis
  • Volume III – head and neck
  • Volume IV – brain-neuroanatomy

Vishram Singh’s textbook of anatomy

This book is also most commonly followed 1st year MBBS books by the students after BD Chaurasia. It is available in a very concise form containing all the necessary details. It provides quite a better representation of diagrams. There are also three volumes of this book.

  • Volume I – upper limb and thorax
  • Volume II – abdomen and Lower limb
  • Volume III – head, neck, and brain

Clinical anatomy by Snell

Besides learning bookish knowledge, there is also a need to know about the clinical picture of various scenarios related to anatomy. This book will provide you with sufficient clinical details to learn and memorize.

Netter’s Atlas

Anatomy can be understood well through colorful diagrams and flowcharts. Netter’s atlas is the most used 1st year MBBS book among the atlas. This book is a great aid in the journey of understanding anatomy. It provides a detailed diagrammatic representation of anatomical structures. In addition, it helps to visualize and learn anatomy with a photographic memory. Must go through the pictures in this book to understand the details of anatomy with proper blood and nerve supply.

Book for histology

Histology covers the microscopic details of the organs and structures.

Laiq Hussain histology

This book is the most commonly followed 1st year MBBS books by the Asian students to learn the details of histology. Besides drawing various histologic structures, there is a need to learn about the histologic features with proper diagrams. This book is one of the best 1st year MBBS books to understand the histologic features of various anatomical structures.

Books for embryology:

Embryology covers the developmental phases starting from the 1st week of pregnancy till birth.

Langman medical embryology:

This book is the best 1st year MBBS book to cover the details of embryology. It includes several colorful pictures with different tables and flowcharts to understand the complex details of embryology. It also covers the molecular biology associated with the developmental phases.

Inderbir Singh’s textbook of human embryology:

This book is also followed by most of the students to understand the complex developmental changes. There are multiple pictures with proper illustrations for easy understanding. There is also a summary available at the end of every chapter for quick review. This is one of the most used 1st year MBBS books in embryology by Asian students.

Books for physiology:

Physiology is related to the normal functioning of the structures, tissues, and organs. There are also several books available in the market to cover the course for 1st year MBBS students. Let us have a look at the books for physiology.

Guyton and Hall, the text of medical Physiology

This book, Guyton and Hall, is one of the most followed 1st year MBBS books by the students to understand the concepts of physiology. In addition, this book is sufficient enough to make a firm grip on the concepts. It explains the content in a very easy and understanding way with proper diagrammatic illustrations. You can easily prepare for your exams by using this book.

It provides details with proper explanation. Because of the long explanation, this book is not for revision purposes. Mark the main points and go for revision.

Ganong’s review of medical physiology:

This book is also a well-renowned reference 1st year MBBS book. It also provides clear and vivid concepts related to the functioning of various structures. You can choose this book for physiology to clear your concepts.

Books for Biochemistry:

Biochemistry is related to the chemicals and physio-chemical reactions occurring in human beings. There are also multiple books to understand the complex concepts of biochemistry. Let us have a look at the books available for biochemistry.

Harpers’ illustrated Biochemistry

Harpers is one of the best 1st year MBBS books to understand the dry concepts of biochemistry. Biochemistry is quite a rough subject. So, this book follows the flow charts with different metabolic cycles to explain the concept of biochemistry. In addition, it also contains different colorful pictures to describe the metabolic cycles. No other book can beat the level of this book.

Lippincott Biochemistry

This book is also one of the recommended books for 1st year MBBS students. You can easily learn through the different pictorial illustrations. In addition, it will also help you a lot to prepare for your exams.

Some other 1st year MBBS books:

There is a long list of books available for the 1st year MBBS students. It’s all up to you to decide the best book for you. Let us have a look at these books to know about them.


  • Cunnigham’s manual of practical anatomy
  • Dutta’s textbook of anatomy
  • Clinically oriented anatomy by K L Moore


  • Wheater’s functional histology
  • Textbook of Human Histology with color Atlas


  • Textbook of human embryology by Inderbir Singh


  • Grant’s Dissector


  • Porth’s pathophysiology
  • Sherwood physiology
  • Essentials of Medical Physiology by K. Sembulingam


  • Rapid review Biochemistry
  • Essentials of Biochemistry by Satyanarayana
  • Netter’s Essential Biochemistry

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Is it necessary to read all these 1st year MBBS books?

No, it is not necessary to read all the books for the 1st year MBBS students. You can choose any book according to your understanding and learning. You can get concepts through short books too. But, reference books should be preferred to get the authentic details.

How many 1st year MBBS books are there?

There are three main and basic subjects to learn in the 1st year of MBBS. It’s up to you how much you can study. There are multiple reference books available for every subject. You can select any book according to your choice or syllabus. Medicine is not related to cramming knowledge but getting the knowledge.

Dr. Rahul Kushwaha

Rahul Kumar Kushwaha, MBBS, is an intern doctor at a prestigious college in Bangladesh, North East Medical College, situated in South SurmaPamila, on the outskirts of Sylhet, Bangladesh. He is one of the team members and Founder of WOMS and has been working since the beginning of WOMS. Similarly, he is also the founder of the pregnancy journey app and the auscultation world app.

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