Bailey & Love's Short Practice of Surgery 26E Cover

As a part of my comparative review series of all textbooks for undergraduate medical subjects, I am adding this article about Textbooks of General Surgery which are best content wise, most read by students, recommended by seniors and professors and are available in the market. I have included books for both theory and practical/ clinical aspect of General Surgery in this article.



UG Level Books

Bailey & Love’s Short Practice of Surgery by Norman S Williams, Christopher JK Bulstrode and P Ronan O’Connell (Recommended)

This is most widely used the book by all UG medical students for General Surgery. It is a detailed book which is good for the understanding of the subject. Also, gives latest techniques and treatment available and recommended for different surgical procedures. But this book is not very good on exam point of view, as topics are given like essay and it is difficult to recollect it at the time of the exams. But in an all a very good book which has to be read at least once by students who have enough time for exams.

A Concise Textbook of Surgery by S. Das

This is an alternative to Bailey & Love written by an Indian author. This is a much more detailed textbook and much superior to Bailey & Love when it comes to the amount of content. Only and a big down side of this book is also a good side of the book, its huge amount of content. It is very difficult for any average student to fully read and revise this book. Especially for final year MBBS students who are very short of time. Should be used for reference and understanding for difficult topics if a student needs.

Manipal Manual of Surgery by K. Rajgopal Shenoy, Anitha Shenoy (Recommended)

This is a total exam oriented book and should be read while preparing and targeting final university exams. This book gives its content in a pointwise manner which makes it very easy to read and recollect at the time of the exams. Also content is just enough to write all questions asked in exams without any difficulty. A must read book for exam specific preparation.

SRB’s Manual of Surgery by Sriram Bhat M

I have not read this book, so would advise students to have a look at it to check if it fulfills their requirement.

Synopsis of Surgery – Lecture Notes by Yogi Ram Bolisetty (Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers)

Synopsis of Surgery - Lecture Notes by Yogi Ram Bolisetty (Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers)

This book is just like its name says, Lecture Notes. It is like someone has compiled a book from various lecture notes in a concise manner. This book is very much like an exam oriented book which will be very useful to the medical students to read and recollect in the exams. The book is very basic and full of text without too many illustrations. It is very similar to Manipal Textbook of surgery. It also gives anatomy of the organs which is very important in surgical perspective.

This book was given to me by Thieme Publishers as a review copy.

PG Level Books

I am also going to enlist out here textbooks of General Surgery which are of PG level. These books should never be used by UG students for the primary purpose of reading and should be used only for reference purpose.

Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice (Set of 2 Volumes) by TOWNSEN

Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery by F. Brunicardi, Dana Andersen, Timothy Billiar

The Washington Manual of Surgery by Klingensmith

Farquharson’s Textbook of Operative General Surgery by FARQUHARSON

Basic Surgical Skills and Techniques by David L Stoker, Sudhir Kumar Jain, Raman Tanwar




A Manual On Clinical Surgery by Das S (Recommended)

This is the best book for the practical/ clinical aspect of General Surgery. Details of history taking,  signs & symptoms, examination and differential diagnosis given in this book of each topic/ system/ organ are excellent. A must read book for practicals. I used it as my primary reading books for my ward posting and practical exam preparation in my UG days.

Surgery Simplified For Practicals A K Gvalani (Recommended)

This is a book mainly used for surgical instruments and surgical procedure methods. A very good book and should be read for practical exam preparation for those specific topics. This book is not easily available online but can be found in book stores, especially Bhalani Book Depot as this book is published by Bhalani Publishers. A down side of newer editions of this book is that it has skipped many instruments which are no longer used in clinical practice but those instruments are asked in the exam. So students are advised to take xerox copies of older versions of they could find an old book or take copies from seniors.


This is a book which is used as an alternative to A Manual On Clinical Surgery by Das S. Students should read it according to their personal preference.

If students have more recommendation or have points to add to those I have mentioned, please comment below.

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Updated on 10-09-2017