Must-Have Books For Applying To Medicine (2019 Entry)

Applying to medical school can be an intimidating process, with thousands of candidates applying each year for limited spaces, how do you give yourself the edge?

Answer:  Learn from successful doctors and admission experts

Books are a great way to learn tips to boost your chances of getting into medicine – they include helpful tips and strategies to boost your application.  The following books are my recommendations at every stage of the application process:

UCAS Application

You have decided you want to study medicine, Great! With the application deadline in October, the following books will provide tips and strategies to strengthen your overall application and increase your chances of being invited for an interview:

1. Getting into Medical School 2018 Entry by James Barton ( The 2019 Entry book should be released in April 2018)

Getting into medical school is hard, to give yourself the best possible success – or at least a fighting chance of an interview – your application needs to be good. This new edition of the series covers everything applicants need to know to secure their place at medical school, including advice on preparing a winning application, updated topical medical issues, and details of admission tests such as UKCAT and BMAT. See customer reviews On Amazon.

2. Get into Medical School – Write the perfect personal statement by Olivier Picard et al

Your personal statement is crucial; some universities place more emphasis on personal statements than others. The authors of this book are experts in communication and medical recruitment; this book explains what admissions tutors look for and how to get yourself noticed by writing a compelling and memorable personal statement. It will guide you through the process of writing a strong personal statement to help you win a place at medical school, describing effective writing techniques to enable you to convince the admissions tutors of your desire and motivation for a career in medicine while conveying your personality. The book contains 100 real life personal statements from successful A level and graduate applicants to all medical schools.  See customer reviews on Amazon.

UKCAT Preparation

The UKCAT is the admission test required by many medical schools. Many students find the exam challenging, the following UKCAT books provide thousands of practice questions and mock tests to familiarise yourself with the exam. I’ve specifically recommended the following books because they provide more value by helping with exam techniques, time saving strategies and additional online tools:    

1. Get Into Medical School – Over 1250 UKCAT Practice Question by Olivier Picard et al

This UKCAT practice book  is the third edition of the ‘600 UKCAT Practice Questions’ book, which was the best-selling UKCAT book from  2009 to 2015. The book replicates the breadth and depth of the different types of questions that can be asked in the test and will also provide a good spectrum of difficulties candidates will expect in the UKCAT. The book  also contains over 1250 practice questions covering all subtests of the 2016 UKCAT exam (for 2017 entry). See Customer reviews on Amazon.

2. The Ultimate UKCAT Guide – 1250 Practice Questions by David Salt and Rohan Aggarwal.

This practice book is the third edition of the ‘The Ultimate UKCAT Guide’ book series, it offers great preparation material and is written by experts and doctors that have helped thousands of students prepare for the UKCAT. The book has a thousands of practice questions to help you identify your  weaknesses before you begin to revise,it has helpful tips and strategies for each section of the exam. See customer reviews on Amazon.

Have a look at my top 3 recommended UKCAT books for 2018. For a step-by-step guide on preparing for the UKCAT check out my  UKCAT study guide. It includes all the tips, strategies and tactics I used to achieve a UKCAT score in the 90th percentile (9th decile). 

Medical School Interview 

You have been asked to attend an interview, Great! With a few weeks to prepare, there are certain books to read before your medical school interview that will help strengthen your interview skills and provide you all the necessary techniques, information and motivation  you will need to perform well. The following books provide a thousands of interview questions, answering techniques and background knowledge to help you prepare for your interview:

1.Medical School Interviews (2nd Edition) by Olivier Picard and George Lee

This is my most recommended book, it contains all the tools you need to answer all the questions you can expect on the big day. The authors have analysed over 150 questions and provided easy to read guides to answering them effectively. The book also has invaluable information on the history of medicine, the NHS, ethics and other key issues. The authors cover everything from handling MMI stations to motivational questions. See customer reviews on Amazon.

2. Medical Ethics: A Very Short Introduction by Tony Hope

This is another highly recommended book focused solely on medical ethics. The book covers the core issues in medical ethics and provides an invaluable tool with which to think about the ethical values that lie at the heart of medicine. The author really digs into issues such as euthanasia and the morality of killing, and also explores political questions such as: how should health care resources be distributed fairly? Each chapter in this book considers a different issue: genetics, modern reproductive technologies, resource allocation, mental health, medical research, and discusses more controversial topics. See customer reviews on Amazon.

3. NHS Plc: The Privatisation Of Our Health by Prof. Allison Pollock

Although a bit dry, this book is extremely interesting and the one that most shaped my understanding of the NHS. The book examines how the NHS has gradually become more and more politicised and privatised since it’s inception in 1948. Pollock applies remorseless logic to provide an almost irresistible argument about how rotten the core of the NHS actually is. A must read in my eyes – I found myself bringing it up numerous times in medical school interviews. See Customer reviews on Amazon.

Hope you found this helpful! For more tips check out more articles on medical school interview tips.


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About Mike 114 Articles
My name is Michael and I'm a Pharmacology graduate from the University of Manchester, I was able to improve my UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) score from 2400 to 2840 and get offered a place at Warwick’s graduate-entry medical programme.