Should you buy every textbook on the list of recommended books you’re given in vet school?
We get this question all the time and the answer is no! It simply is not realistic (or necessary) to purchase every single textbook a class syllabus mentions!
There are however some textbooks that will be very helpful during vet school and then in clinical practice. With this in mind, we put together a page with our recommended small animal textbooks. We also added our personal opinion on their use while in vet school or as a veterinarian (or both!). Please keep in mind that these are simply our personal opinions; everyone has a different opinion on what books work best for them!
We both spent way too much money on textbooks that we ended up not using at all during vet school! It is unlikely you’ll read even a quarter of each textbook you buy while in school. Why? Because you have class notes and most people will study from those; there often isn’t enough time to just sit down to read an entire book. We encourage you to ask your mentors if they think buying a specific book is going to be helpful. You can even ask your classmates in the year ahead of you to learn how much they used a specific book!
Most, if not all of the textbooks listed here, will be useful references for you after you’re done with school or advanced training. However, you should consider how much you’ll be using the book in the present. If the answer is that you won’t get much use out of it at the moment, you might consider holding off. Also, you should always consider if a new edition is likely to be available when you’re out in practice! Always check when the current edition came out! If it’s been about 5-6 years, look deeper to see if a new edition is in the works!
If you’re looking for a list of every single textbook you might need for vet school, you’re not going to find it here. We’re staying in the realm of great general Internal Medicine books, as well as books we recommend for more specialized information. Please know that we own and/or have used all of the books mentioned at some point during our careers. The only books you’ll see here are those that we’re familiar with and recommend!!
Let us know if there’s a book you’ve used extensively in vet school or are currently used in practice that we have not listed!