Best Books And Question Banks For Anesthesiology

Just like any speciality in medicine, there are countless resources to learn from. Some are better as primary texts, others as references, and a few are wonderful review books. Here’s my rundown of recommended texts for the field of anesthesiology.


The backbone of a physician anesthesiologist’s knowledge base, anesthesia textbooks have evolved significantly over the last century in terms of length and complexity. Here are some recommendations. Many of them can be found at a library or online database. I’ve also excluded subspecialized fields within anesthesiology (transesophageal echocardiography, pediatric anesthesia, obstetric anesthesia, etc.)

  • Morgan and Mikhail’s Clinical Anesthesiology (read this in its entirety as an intern – great primer to build on)
  • Miller’s Anesthesia (my “go to” textbook for virtually anything in anesthesiology)
  • Barash’s Clinical Anesthesia (praised as the “Bible” of anesthesiology – I’m definitely more of a Miller fan though.)
  • Jaffe’s Anesthesiologist’s Manual of Surgical Procedures (used this all the time as a new CA-1 to review the relevant anesthetic considerations for a given surgical procedure)
  • Stoelting’s Anesthesia And Co-Existing Disease (a thorough understanding of comorbid conditions and their anesthetic implications)
  • Yao and Artusio’s Anesthesiology (wonderful for clinical scenarios and oral board preparation)

Question Banks

In my opinion, doing hundreds of practice questions is the best way to apply one’s knowledge base in preparation for exams. I owe my success on our in-training and board exams to supplementing my reading with the following question banks:

Studying on my day off
Studying in progress

Pocket Guides

Earlier in my training, I loved referring to Pocket Anesthesia and Duke’s Anesthesia Secrets to read the “high yield” points about various topics. To this day, I enjoy flipping through these guides to refresh my memory.

Review Books

The two most important review books I’ve read in residency have undoubtedly been Freeman’s Anesthesiology Core Review (for the ABA Basic Exam) and Faust’s Anesthesiology Review. While neither of them is comprehensive, they have great references and tables outlining the most important points we need to know for exams.

Drop me a comment with other books you recommend! 🙂

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  1. rkm says

    ACE Q’s are not that good for board prep

    1. Rishi says

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I think what it boils down to is doing thousands of practice questions from any source you can find.

  2. Sandy says

    Thank you for your posts. Did you use Big Blue? What do you think about it? I’m wondering if I should purchase it also to help me prepare for the written board exam (Part I). Thanks!

    1. Rishi says

      Hey Sandy! I skimmed through some of the Big Blue topics, and they’re pretty good. I feel like it’s the same problem as med school – too many resources, too little time. Just pick a few reviews and master them! 🙂

  3. Billy says

    Have you ever used TrueLearn? Studying for basic and freaking out…

    1. Rishi says

      Hey Billy!

      I didn’t use TrueLearn until after the ABA Basic exam. ACE questions, Hall, and M5 were more than enough coupled with reading chapters from Miller and Barash. Good luck! 🙂

  4. Patrick says

    Great list! Thanks Rishi. 🙂

    Any thoughts about the latest edition of Clinical Anesthesia Procedures of the Massachusetts General Hospital? Or the Anesthesia Guide?

    1. Rishi says

      Thanks Patrick! I honestly don’t know anything about either of those books. I’d imagine most of their content is also found in the texts I mentioned. Guess it depends on your preference. 🙂