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Recommended Radiology Books (Updated 2020)

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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:

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.

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 economically viable 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.

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.
  • 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

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!! ).

Important mentions:

Chest Radiology

Felson’s Chest Roentgenology

  • A basic book that all radiology residents should read.
  • Gives an overview of Chest Radiology.
  • All students will at least have one case with a chest radiograph in their finals and you MUST know the standard definitions of standard radiology signs (the silhouette sign, thoracic-abdominal sign, etc  ) as given in Felson.

Felson’s Principles of Chest Roentgenology, A Programmed Text:

  • More structured than the original Felson.
  • Easier to understand.

The Chest X-Ray: A Survival Guide

  • Precise.
  • Lots of illustrations make it easy to understand.

Webb – High-Resolution CT of the Lung:

  • Excellent book to understand the complex topic of interstitial lung diseases.
  • Illustrations and images are top-notch.

Body Imaging

CT and MRI of the Whole Body – Haaga:

  • Covers majority of the topics really well.

Gastrointestinal Radiology

Textbook of Gastrointestinal Radiology Levine and Gore :

  • Excellent textbook.
  • Covers CT and MR protocols really well.

Mayo Clinic Gastrointestinal Imaging Review

  • One of the few books that give GI fluoroscopy procedures well.

Introduction to Fluoroscopy: For Residents & Professionals Alike

  • An alternative book for Fluoroscopy

Musculoskeletal radiology (MSK)


Fundamentals of Skeletal Radiology by Helms :

  • A great book to start off in the first year.
  • Covers focal bony lesion really well.
  • It doesn’t cover MR really well.

Yochum And Rowe’s Essentials Of Skeletal Radiology :

  • Excellent book for skeletal radiology.
  • Chapters on tumors and arthritis are a must-read for exams
  • Again MR isn’t covered well.

Musculoskeletal MRI Helms:

  • Great book for basic MSK MRI for joints.
  • Lucid and to the point text.

Stoller : Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine.

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

Neuroradiology

Osborn’s Brain.:

  • The ONLY book you will need for neuroradiology.

Neuroradiology: The Requisites:

  • In case you finish reading Osborn, this is the next book you can refer to.

Barkovich Pediatric Neuroimaging

  • Excellent book for pediatric neuroimaging but an overkill at a resident level.

Head and Neck Imaging

Handbook of Head and Neck Imaging:

  • Small textbook but the illustrations cover anatomy in detail
  • A good book to start with head neck anatomy.

Head and Neck Imaging- Peter Som

  • THE reference book for Head and Neck Radiology.

Emergency Radiology

Accident and Emergency Radiology: A Survival Guide

Pediatric Radiology


Ultrasound

Rumack Diagnostic Ultrasound:

  • A good book to start off during your first year.
  • Covers obstetrics USG in detail as well.
  • Includes free online access to sonography videos.

Introduction to Vascular Ultrasonography:

  • Covers Basic Doppler physics,  neck vessel, ba and peripheral Doppler really well.

Callens Ultrasonography In Obstetrics And Gynecology

  • Advanced book for fetal imaging.

Medical Imaging physics

Christensen’s Physics of Diagnostic Radiology

  • Great book to start off during the first year.
  • Covers basic  X-ray and fluoroscopy physics quite well.
  • Not that good for USG/CT/MR physics.

Farr’s Physics for Medical Imaging

  • Covers everything from radiography to nuclear medicine.
  • Concise text with reproducible line diagrams.
  • Must read for those interested in appearing for the FRCR.
  • One of the best reads for radiation protection.

The Fundamentals of X-Ray and Radium Physics by Joseph Selman

  • Darkroom, film recovery and qualities affecting film quality are topics to be referred to.

Chesney

  • X-ray film and grids are given well.

MRI made easy Govind Chavhan

Imaging Anatomy

  • RadioGyan:
    • You can start off with our anatomy page where we have covered references for almost all systems. If you want any other system, feel free to request here.
    • Links to other important anatomy resources are also available on the page.

Imaging Atlas of Human Anatomy

  • An excellent textbook to start off during the first year.
  • Covers radiography and cross-section anatomy as well.

Pocket Atlas of Sectional Anatomy

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

Applied Radiological Anatomy and Anatomy for Diagnostic Imaging – Ryan

  • Concise books for anatomy.
  • These are textbooks than atlases.
  • Recommended for the FRCR by a few radiologists.

Applied Radiological Anatomy- Butler

Procedures and Interventional radiology (IR)


Radiological Procedures by Bhushan N Lakhkar.

  • Must read for all residents.
  • Do not skip the chapters on intervention instruments and tools.

Radiological procedures Bhargava

  • Covers all routine procedures including  GI and GU.
  • Chapters on interventions and instruments is helpful for viva.

Chapman & Nakielny’s Guide to Radiological Procedures

Handbook of Interventional Radiologic Procedures Kandrappa

  • Good book if you have an intervention department.

Nuclear Medicine

Cardiac Imaging

Mammography and breast imaging

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.
  • Most read books for theory exams.
  • Covers most of the questions asked in the exams.
  • Recent advances books is a must-read for viva as well.

Also, check out our guides for the radiology theory exams and practicals.

Case-based imaging and spotter books

RadCases:

  • Dedicate book for each system.
  • Cases and the explanation that follows is good.
  • Online access comes free with the books which have additional cases for each system.

Aunt Minnie’s Atlas and Imaging-Specific Diagnosis

Top 3 Differentials in Radiology: A Case Review

Core Review series

  • Case-based teaching series similar to RadCases.

Books for the ABR core exams and boards


Core Radiology: A Visual Approach to Diagnostic Imaging

  • Living up to its name it has some excellent images and illustrations.
  • Also a great introductory book for first-year radiology residents.

Books authored by Prometheus MD. These are highly rated by radiology residents and are a MUST read for the boards.

Case-based imaging books mentioned above, especially RadCases

Here is a good great 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:

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.


Resources and books for medical students

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).

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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Radiologist at RadioGyan.com
I have completed medical school from KEM Hospital Mumbai and radiology residency from Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. I am a board-certified radiologist in India.

I have also completed fellowships in body imaging from Mumbai and Ottawa and am currently pursuing a fellowship in cross-section imaging at McMaster University, Canada.

I have a passion for teaching and my area of interest is body imaging. I started the website, RadioGyan to share radiology resources and cases to help residents and radiologists.

You can read my most recent publications on: PubMed and Google Scholar

Dr. Amar Udare, MD
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