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Recommended Radiology Books (Updated 2020)

Last Updated on November 13, 2020

Radiology is a vast subject and there are tons of books available. Given the shortage of time, a radiology resident needs to carefully choose what books he should read.

Here are some tips regarding radiology books and resources:

Tips for radiology residents

Start with standard textbooks.

Read physical textbooks.

Take notes!

Start with standard textbooks

There are lots of resources available on the internet, including articles, case collections, and e-books. But trust me as a first-year resident you SHOULD start off by reading standard textbooks. Because there are so many resources on the internet, you will end up collecting them / browsing through them without reading them. These are definitely great resources and you should use them, but once you have got your basics clear by reading books.

Read physical books

Another trend that I have observed in residents is reading e-books on iPads and tablets. My experience is that you would retain a lot more once you read ACTUAL books.

I know that this may be difficult for everyone, considering that radiology books aren’t cheap. A good alternative is to rent books from Amazon (may not be available in all countries), your local library or your radiology department library. You can also share a few reference books among your colleagues if that is an option.

Keep reference books handy on your iPad and Kindles, especially the normal radiological anatomy books, while you are reporting. You can read about a particular case when you encounter one during your practice But for building up core concepts, you SHOULD stick to physical books!

Take notes

Get in the habit of taking notes. A neat trick that I used was to stick on additional notes from articles into a standard book, so when I had to revise the topic I do not have to hunt elsewhere. You can also keep a small notebook or diary handy for taking notes during conferences. Alternatively, the iPad has some great note-taking apps like Notability and Good notes.

Now coming to the question that got you here: What are some good radiology books?

I have compiled the books that I found useful during my residency and fellowship. I know the list is long and it is not feasible for a first-year radiology resident to buy ALL books, but you can always read the reference books in the library or alternatively share books with your colleagues. Books and systems are listed in the order of priority: Essentials to optional.

Here is the system-wise list of recommended radiology books:

Fundamentals of Radiology

You need to have a basic”go-to” book, especially when you start your residency. I have listed a few books in this category. You can select ONE of these depending on your reading style and where you are doing your radiology residency.

Cover for Core Radiology: A Visual Approach to Diagnostic Imaging by Jacob Mandell

Core Radiology: A Visual Approach to Diagnostic Imaging

  • The #1 recommended book by radiology residents in this category.
  • Full of images and illustrations for each topic (true to its name: “a visual approach”)
  • Concise and to-the-point.
  • Certain topics may not be covered in-depth, for which you can refer to the subspeciality books listed below.
Brant and Helms' Fundamentals of Diagnostic Radiology 5th Edition Cover

Brant and Helms’ Fundamentals of Diagnostic Radiology

  • Used to be the best foundation book for radiology until Core Radiology took over that position.
  • The newer edition has expanded sections for cardiology and interventional radiology (IR).
  • Make sure you get the version that is divided into volumes, which is easier to carry.
Textbook of Radiology and Imaging: 2-Volume Set

Textbook of Radiology and Imaging: 2-Volume Set by David Sutton

  • The #1 recommended book for radiology residents in India.
  • Unfortunately, it has not been updated for a LONG time ( 18 years to be precise!).
  • The section on Chest imaging is good.
  • This is the book that I read during my residency.
  • This is what most of the examiners (in India and few other South Asian countries ) have read and follow so a must-have to clear the practicals.

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Grainger & Allison's Diagnostic Radiology: 2-Volume Set 6th Edition Cover

Grainger & Allison’s Diagnostic Radiology: 2-Volume Set 6th Edition

General Radiology

Chapman & Nakielny's Aids to Radiological Differential Diagnosis 7th Edition, Kindle Edition Cover

Chapman & Nakielny’s Aids to Radiological Differential Diagnosis

  • This handbook is quintessential for all radiology residents and is MUST read for practicals.
  • The updated 7th edition has divided the differentials into most common, less common and rare. These are now easier to recollect than the monotonous list in the previous versions.
  • Also, do have a look at the second part of the book. It gives around 30-40 disease entities with point-wise radiology findings for each. Precise and easy to revise.
Radiology Review Manual Paperback 8th Editionby Wolfgang F. Dahnert MD Cover

Radiology Review Manual – Dahnert

  • Dahnert is a reference book for differentials.
  • Has good illustrations which can come in handy in the theory exams. The illustrations for radiological signs in Hydatid disease is excellent!
  • Do keep in mind that the book does not have radiological images. The text can get monotonous without accompanying images.

Learning Radiology: Recognizing the Basics

Honorable mentions:

  • Primer of Diagnostic Imaging: A lot of simple line diagrams for which you can reproduce in the theory exams.
  • The Final FRCR: Complete Revision Notes: This is a good book to revise topics a few days before the theory/ practical exam.
  • Known Unknowns Of Everyday Radiology Practice.
    • Small handbook which discusses practical radiology issues like radiation safety and contrast reactions
    • Must have in any radiology department.
    • Read the full review here.
  • Clark’s Positioning In Radiography
    • Reference book a copy of which is usually kept in all radiology departments.
    • Difficult to remember positioning just by reading. The best way is to head to the radiography department. (We used to not only acquire radiographs during emergencies but also used to develop them manually!! ).

Chest Radiology

Felson’s Chest Roentgenology

  • A foundational book that all radiology residents should read.
  • It is a fun read with lots of anecdotal examples from Felson’s personal.
  • All students will at least have one case with a chest radiograph in their finals and you MUST understand the standard radiology signs (the silhouette sign, thoracic-abdominal sign, etc), best described in Felson.
  • A book that every radiology resident may not like but has to read!

The Chest X-Ray: A Survival Guide by Gerald de Lacey

  • A precise book that will give you the exact information that you are looking for, unlike Felson which has a more storytelling format.
  • Lots of illustrations and radiographs make it easy to grasp difficult topics.
  • Handy and easy to carry around which makes it an ideal companion for your first x-ray rotation.

The Unofficial Guide to Radiology

  • Great alternative/companion to The Chest X-Ray: A Survival Guide
  • Includes 100 Chest X-Rays, with Annotations and Full X-Ray Reports for reference and practice.
  • A good book for general practitioners who want to brush up their chest radiography knowledge.

Webb – High-Resolution CT of the Lung

  • An excellent book to understand the complex topic of interstitial lung diseases.
  • Illustrations and images are top-notch.
  • Considering that this one is pricey you can borrow this or have it in your department library.
  • A good companion to the book are these excellent articles from Radiology Assistant:

Thoracic Imaging: Pulmonary and Cardiovascular Radiology

  • Co-authored by Webb and an excellent companion to HRCT chest.
  • A great primer for cardiovascular imaging (including congenital and acquired heart disorders).
  • Thanks to Dr. Tan-Lucien Mohammed for this recommendation!

Additional books for further reading and thoracic radiology fellows:

Also, check our extensive collection of cardiothoracic imaging resources (including more than 100 videos by the Society of Thoracic Radiology):

Imaging Anatomy

Weir & Abrahams’ Imaging Atlas of Human Anatomy

Good alternative: Pocket Atlas of Sectional Anatomy

  • Three pocket-sized volumes covering imaging anatomy.
  • A good book to refer to when you are reporting CT and MR
  • All images are accompanied by illustrations which makes it easy to understand.

You can also check out our extensive collection of anatomy references here:

Other options: Imaios e-anatomy (App and website), Applied Radiological AnatomyAnatomy for Diagnostic Imaging – Ryan and Applied Radiological Anatomy- Butler.

Body Imaging

Fundamentals of Body CT by Webb / Brant

  • Recommended book for R1s during your first CT rotation.
  • Well organized and easy to read.
  • The chest section is also a good read a substitute for other books mentioned above.
CT and MRI of the Whole Body Haaga radiology book for CT

CT and MRI of the Whole Body – Haaga

  • A 2-volume book set that covers both CT and MRI for all body systems.
  • This is the book that I used for reading body CT and MRI.

Further reading and books for body/cross-section imaging fellows and practicing radiologists:

  • Body MRI by Evan Siegelman – THE book for body MRI. Unfortunately, it has not been updated since the first edition that came out in 2004.
  • Online MRI lectures by MRIonline.com are worth investing in, especially if you are a practicing radiologist. You can use the coupon code: RADIOGYAN_10 to get a 10 percent off on all the courses!
  • CTisus.com by Dr. Elliot Fishman is a great resource for body CT.

Gastrointestinal Radiology

Most of GI radiology is covered in the fundamental and body imaging books. Mayo Clinic Gastrointestinal Imaging Review and Introduction to Fluoroscopy: For Residents & Professionals Alike are good books for fluoroscopy which is not covered well in these books.

For further reading, the Textbook of Gastrointestinal Radiology Levine and Gore is an excellent GI book.

Musculoskeletal radiology (MSK)


Yochum And Rowe's Essentials Of Skeletal Radiology book for residents

Yochum And Rowe’s Essentials Of Skeletal Radiology

  • A MUST read book for bone tumors, arthritides, and endocrine bone disorders.
  • Each topic has a pink “Capsule summary box” at the end of the description which is very useful for last-minute revision.
  • Also, don’t forget to read the skeletal radiology mnemonics in the Appendix.
  • MRI is not covered well.
Musculoskeletal MRI Helms

Musculoskeletal MRI Helms and Kaplan

  • Recommended book to read for the basics of musculoskeletal MRI and joints.
  • As a radiology resident, Yochum, coupled with Helms is enough for MSK MRI.
  • This also has good tables to review important topics.

Further reading and books for MSK radiology fellows:

Stoller MSK MRI radiology

Stoller: Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine.

  • THE bible for MSK radiology.
  • You can do a selective reading during your residency.
  • A good book to read up after your residency if you develop an interest in MSK radiology.

Fundamentals of Skeletal Radiology by Helms is a good book to start as a first-year resident. However, it does not cover a lot of other topics so I will not recommend buying it.

Neuroradiology

Neuroradiology Osbonr Book cover

Osborn’s Brain

  • Probably the ONLY book you will EVER need for neuroradiology!
  • Fundamental books cover most of the neuroradiology required at a resident level . None the less, this is a good book for neuroradiology fellows and radiology residents.

Further reading and books for neuroradiology fellows/radiology practitioners

Head and Neck Imaging

In Neck, once your anatomy concepts are good, the pathology part is not that difficult. HeadNeckBrainSpine is a good resource for anatomy.

This YouTube playlist by Dr. Harnsberger and Dr. Suresh Mukherjee is a good resource for Head and neck radiology:

Handbook of Head and Neck Imaging:

  • Small handbooks but the illustrations cover anatomy in detail.
  • Although the last edition came out in 1996 (!), it is still a good book to start with head-neck anatomy.

Head and Neck Imaging- Peter Som

  • THE reference book for Head and Neck Radiology. Not essential at a resident level.

Emergency Radiology

Again a separate book may not be required Accident and Emergency Radiology: A Survival Guide is a good book, especially if you are interested in taking up the FRCR exam.

Pediatric Radiology

Ultrasound


Rumack Diagnostic Ultrasound

Great book for Routine ultrasound and basic fetal imaging.

Introduction to Vascular Ultrasonography

Covers physics, neck vessels, and peripheral doppler well.

Callen's Ultrasonography in Obstetrics and Gynecology 6th Edition

Callens Ultrasonography In Obstetrics And Gynecology

Recommended for advanced reading and for fetal medicine fellows.

Medical Imaging physics

recommended book for medical imaging physics Farr

Farr’s Physics for Medical Imaging

Recommended book for physics, especially if you plan to take the FRCR exam.

Christensen's Radiology Physics

Christensen’s Physics of Diagnostic Radiology

A good book for first-year radiology residents to understand the basic physics of x-rays, image identifiers, and dark-room.

recommended book for MRI physics

MRI made easy Govind Chavhan

A small handbook that covers the essentials of MR physics.

For the physics of older conventional modalities, books like Fundamentals of X-Ray and Radium Physics by Joseph Selman and Chesney can be referred but I am not sure how relevant are these now.

Review of Radiologic Physics by Walter Huda and The Essential Physics of Medical Imaging by Bushberg are also good alternatives.

RSNA physics modules are free for members and are quite exhaustive as well.

A good and more exhaustive alternative for MRI physics is MRI in Practice by Catherine Westbrook. I would prefer Duke Review of MRI Physics: Case Review Series over this, considering its case-based approach topic like MRI physics.

Procedures and Interventional radiology (IR)


Recommended book for radiology procedures

Radiological Procedures by Bhushan N Lakhkar.

A great resource for conventional procedures (barium, IVU, MCU, etc), instruments and table viva.

Chapman & Nakielny's Guide to Radiological Procedures

Chapman & Nakielny’s Guide to Radiological Procedures

A good alternate to Bhushan Lakhar’s procedure book.

Handbook of Interventional Radiologic Procedures

Handbook of Interventional Radiologic Procedures Kandrappa

A dedicated book on IR is not required for all residents. If you are interested in IR and your program has a good IR department, this is more than enough.

Have questions about Interventional Radiology (IR)? Check out our detailed post:

Nuclear Medicine

Not required for most radiology residents program worldwide as the programs are separate.

Following nuclear medicine books are good for FRCR and some residency programs:

Cardiac Imaging

Mammography and breast imaging

At a resident level dedicated books on mammography are not necessary.

Following articles from Radiology Assistant are a great start:

For further reading and for breast radiology fellowships following books by Lazlo Tabar are good:

Check out this unique interactive course on the basics of breast imaging:

Basics of Breast Imaging Course
Basics of Breast Imaging Course

Other systems

I don’t think separate books are needed for cardiac imaging, pediatrics and breast imaging at a resident level. General radiology books cover these systems quite well. For practicing radiologists the radiology requisites series is good for specialty reading.

Books for the MD/DNB/DMRD theory exams

Diagnostic Radiology Berry

  • These books do not need a separate introduction and are a must-read for radiology residents in India as they cover most questions asked in the radiology theory exams.
  • Recent advances edition is a must-read for viva as well.

A good book for the radiology oral boards is Radiology Secrets. This is a small handbook with a unique question-answer based format.

Case-based imaging books

Also check out our collection of “Aunt-Minnie” radiology cases:

Books for the ABR core exams and boards


Here is the complete guide for the ABR core exam by Dr. Mustafa Alhasan

Although the FRCR exam has been covered in detail in a separate post, we have listed the book recommendations for the exam.

First FRCR examination

You can check out the complete article here:


Resources and books for medical students

Although radiology is not one of the major subjects in medical school, it is increasingly being integrated into everyday clinical practice and hence it is imperative for medical students to be cognizant with the basics of radiology. Also after the introduction of the NEET entrance exam, radiology has assumed more importance in the entrance exams. These are a few books that medical students can read for learning the basics of radiology and help them with these exams as well.

Learning Radiology: Recognizing the Basics. You can also browse the following pages from the Learning Radiology website :

Radiology books for entrance exams like NEET/AIIMS / PGI

Free resources for radiology residents


We have compiled a list of free to download radiology resources. These include free to download PDF books and presentations (PPT).

Radiology Exam Resources - Free PDF, presentations, ebooks, and case collections.

Hopefully, you find this list of recommended books for radiology residents useful. If I have missed any book you can contact me here.

P.S. Make sure you buy the latest edition while buying online. Also, a lot of websites and telegram groups offer free radiology books PDFs but I would not recommend these and you should prefer reading books in the physical form.

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