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Best Books for MBBS Second Year [NMC Recommended List]

There are numerous books out in the market claiming to be the best. Choosing the right set of books is important and I’m here to assist you with the same. 

In this blog, I’ll be listing down all the top and best books for the 2nd-year of MBBS. These books are also recommended by National Medical Commission (NMC) and will be of great use to 2nd-year MBBS medical students, both to learn and grasp the subject as well as to score well in exams. The full list of NMC recommended books is available at the end of this blog.

First of all, congratulations on clearing your 1st-year final exams! You’ve managed to take Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry head-on and you won. Don’t worry, 2nd-year of MBBS will be relatively easy.

2nd year in MBBS is of paramount importance because it forms the basis for the subjects that are to follow. There are 3 subjects in MBBS second year, namely, Pathology, Pharmacology and Microbiology.

I would suggest you read standard textbooks. It’s very important to read standard textbooks to have a solid foundation and understanding of your subjects. Of course, you can also use other supplementary material to aid your preparation for the final exams.

I just got done with my second-year MBBS! Here’s the list of books I referred to for Pathology, Pharmacology and Microbiology. 

List of Best Books For MBBS 2nd Year


1. Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease: South Asia Edition

It’s the gold standard Pathology book for a reason. There is no better book to clear your concepts, regardless of whether your aim is to gain knowledge or just to pass the exam. I believe everyone should rely on Robbins as their primary resource for Pathology.

You will initially have difficulty finishing even 5 pages, but with time, you will become so comfortable with the language and the presentation that you will be able to easily finish 10- 15 pages a day. As you re-read the topics, the journey becomes smoother. With the way the words flow so eloquently, you tend to forget that you are reading a heavy subject like Pathology.

I would suggest going through a paragraph at a leisurely pace during your first reading, instead of focusing on every word. Then, go back to it to absorb it. Don’t forget to highlight the key points. Both volumes of Robbins should be read at least once. 

Because you can’t go through the whole book just before the final exam, make notes or write a summary of the topic and stick it on the page. You can also use Harsh Mohan or Ramdas Nayak as alternatives if you find it difficult to cope.

2. Ramadas Nayak’s Pathology Exam Preparatory Manual for Undergraduates

Widely followed non-standard book for Pathology. The information is presented in short, pointed paragraphs with an excellent arrangement, making it a good exam preparation manual.

Preparing for my first internals from Robbins made me realize that it isn’t so easy (just like using Guyton in Physiology). From then on, I made it a point to read Robbins daily and then study from Ramdas Nayak a month before exams. This book is a saviour during exams!

From Robbins, I had my concepts clear; Ramdas Nayak just helped me present them in a better way with its simple language and diagrams that were easy to reproduce. 

Because a large proportion of pathology is rather volatile, this book provided me with an effective way of retaining it.


3. KD Tripathi’s Essentials of Medical Pharmacology

KD Tripathi is a standard textbook that is a must-read book to build up the basic concepts of pharmacology. Illustrations, tables, and flow charts have been used to explain the concepts effectively.

The majority of second-year medical students follow this book. It contains good diagrams and explanations. Useful for both exam preparation and clinical knowledge. However, it can be monotonous at times.

The flowcharts for the classification of drugs are presented at the beginning of each topic. This allowed me to remember all the drugs under the topic in a concise manner. These study materials are especially useful for speedy revision during the theory exam and when preparing for the viva. 

4. Tara Shanbhag’s Pharmacology For Medical Graduates

At times when I feel KDT is too much and I can’t comprehend it, I refer to Shanbhag. Shanbagh was really useful for me during revision just before exams. Everything is written in a short and sweet manner. The flow charts are also pretty good.

Please do not rely on Shanbagh alone as your sole reference for Pharmacology, as this will never give you a comprehensive understanding of the subject.


5. Apurba Sastry’s Essentials of Medical Microbiology

Apurba Sastry’s Microbiology is undoubtedly the best book for Microbiology. Every topic is sorted well. There is so much clarity and organization in the presentation that I find myself wanting to learn more. Makes you fall in love with the subject. 

This book arranges the information in points and tables which makes it the most friendly book on this subject. It contains numerous pictures which are clinically beneficial too.

With plenty of illustrations and diagrams, it is written in a simple and straightforward manner. It serves two purposes at once: knowledge and examination. What I like about this book is the way the lab diagnosis is presented concisely in a box. 

Books Recommended by NMC

Although I highly suggest the above books, they aren’t the only ones available. Now I’ll be listing down all the books for MBBS 1st year recommended by National Medical Commission (NMC)

Here’s what NMC said in the newly revised MBBS CBME curriculum: “A single textbook may not cover the entire curriculum. Referring to more than one book is recommended. It is suggested that students use the latest editions of the books.”


Recommended Books:

1. Kumar, Abbar & Aster Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease

2. General Pathology by IC Talbot & JB Walter

3. Rubin R & Strayer DS Rubin’s Pathology

4. O’Dowd G, Bell S & Wright S Wheater’s Pathology

5. Saxena R, Pati HP, Mahapatra M, Firkin F, Chesterman C & Ponington D DeGruchy’s Clinical Haematology in Medical Practice

6. Ramdas Nayak & Rai S Essentials in Haematology and Clinical Pathology

7. Carman. HR Handbook of Medical Laboratory Technology

8. Singh T Atlas and Text of Hematology

9. Reid R, Roberts F & Macduffe Pathology Illustrated

10. Curran R C, Jones E L Gross Pathology A Color Atlas

11. Underwood’s pathology: a clinical approach

Reference Books:

Level 1:

1. McKenzie S B, Williams J L Clinical laboratory Haematology

2. Bain J B, Bates I, Laffan M A Dacie and Lewis Practical Haematology

3. Damjanov I, Linder J Anderson’s Pathology

4. McPherson R A Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods

Level 2:

1. Greer J P, Arber D A, Glader B, List A F, Means R J, Paraskevas F Wintrobe’s Clinical Haematology

2. Rosai J Rosai and Ackerman’s Surgical Pathology

3. WHO Classification of Tumors Series


Recommended Books:

Basic references:

1. KD Tripathi, Essentials of Medical Pharmacology

2. Padmaja Udaykumar, Medical Pharmacology

3. HL Sharma and KK Sharma, Principles of Pharmacology

4. RS Satoskar, Nirmala N Rege, Raakhi K Tripathi, S D Bhandarkar Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics

Reference Books:

Advanced references (may also include journals/web/other electronic


1. Goodman & Gilman’s -The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, Laurence L Brunton, Bruce A. Chabner, Bjorn Knollman

2. Lippincott Illustrated Reviews: Pharmacology Karen Whalen

3. Bertram G Katzung and Anthony J Trevor, Basic and Clinical 


4. David E Golan, Ehrin J Armstrong, April W Armstrong, Principles of 

Pharmacology – The Pathophysiologic Basis of Drug Therapy

5. Indian Journal of Pharmacology

6. Indian journal of physiology and pharmacology


Recommended Books:

1. Apurba Sastry and Sandhya Bhat; Essentials of Medical Microbiology

2. Lippincott Illustrated Reviews Microbiology, South Asian Edition by Cynthia Nau Cornelissen, Marcia Metzgar Hobbs SAE editors Sumathi Muralidharan & Rohith Chawla

3. Ananthnaryan & Panikar’s Text Book of Microbiology edited by Reba Kanungo

4. Basic Medical Microbiology Patric R Murray

5. Roitt’s Essential Immunology Peter J, Delves Seamus J Martin Dennis R Burton Ivan M Roitt

6. Apurba Sastry and Sandhya Bhat; Essentials of Practical Microbiology

7. K D Chatterjee Parasitology Protozoology and Helminthology

8. C K Jayaram Panicker Panicker’s text Book of Medical Parasitology

9. Textbook of Medical parasitology by Subhash Chandra Parija

Reference Books:

1. Apurba Sastry and Sandhya Bhat; Essentials of hospital infection control 

2. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious diseases

3. Harrison’s principles of internal Medicine

4. Essentials of clinical infectious diseases William F Wright 

5. APIC textbook of Infection Control and Epidemiology

What’s The Cost of MBBS 2nd Year Books?

The overall cost of second-year MBBS books will depend entirely on the type and number of books (standard or non-standard) one wants to buy for each subject. Typically, it can cost anywhere between 5000 to 8,000 rupees.

You can add the above books to your Amazon cart individually to know the exact amount. Here’s a pro tip: bookmark this page for a quicker revisit!

I hope you found this helpful! Feel free to comment below if you did.

Goodluck Medicoholics! Until next time.

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