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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.)

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. 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!

    • 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! 🙂

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

    • 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! 🙂

  3. Great list! Thanks Rishi. 🙂

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

    • 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. 🙂


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