Best books for Physiology 1st Medical Student

Hello future doctors, today we are going to present to you the best selection of books on Physiology. There are numerous books available on physiology in the market. As we all know Physiology is an important subject for the first year, as it deals with the fundamental functioning of various systems within our body.

Understanding these functions is crucial because only then can we comprehend how abnormalities manifest in the body. Therefore, its concepts serve as a foundation for understanding other related subjects such as pathology. The Central Nervous System (CNS) is often regarded as the most challenging and extensive chapter of physiology, so it requires special attention.

In our first year, we encounter subjects more difficult than physiology, such as Anatomy. Consequently, it is common among students to prioritize anatomy and neglect physiology until the last minute, typically during exam times, this post is more dedicated to indian students.

So from the very first day, focus on building strong concepts, as they will greatly help you during exam times. Physiology is a relatively easier subject compared to anatomy and should not pose as much of a challenge. Additionally, there are tutorials and seminars available on YouTube that can aid in revising the topics.

Let’s begin; there are numerous books available for physiology, and we aim to provide recommendations based on multiple student’s reviews to prevent confusion. Our selections are based on our experiences, and we assure you that from a student’s perspective, they are among the best available in the market. But, it’s important to note that our recommendations may not be final, as new books are constantly being introduced to the market. You may come across a better book and you should go with that.

Best book for physiology


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Here are our recommendations, arranged in ascending order, which signifies that the first book is our top preference, and the last one serves as our least priority, but equally important, the sort of ordering is purely based on the way of presentation and language. More or less the core content of all book remains the same.

  1. Essentials Of Medical Physiology by K Sembulingam & Prema Sembulingamsemubilgum

This book is your exam savior. Most students turn to it on the final day before exams. If you haven’t studied well throughout the year(hard to belive but harsh truth!), you can rely on this book during exams. Our top recommendation for this book is because K. Sembulingam, an Indian author, has authored it, which is the best part of this book.

You can easily understand what they meant to say; it is really the simplest book. Its language is very simple, and the content is very minimal. If you are transitioning from another medium of lauguage to english, such as Hindi medium to medical studies, then go with it; it consists of the simplest English language. No complex words, nothing messy, just simply read this book and understand the topic, and seriously after this book, you don’t have to look for any other book for examination purposes only.

The core reason for selecting this book is that it’s penned by an Indian author and employs simpler language. We acknowledge that Guyton and Hall is typically the top choice, but our aim is provide you understandable book and the classical recommations.

It significantly reduces the time required to read the topics. Its flow charts are really awesome. We strongly recommend you to follow this book for CNS. As the CNS is a difficult portion, it covers many topics like the pain pathway, cerebellum, thalamus, etc., which are beautifully explained in this book. However, some topics are missing, and many things are concise here. So, overall it is a good reference book, it gives you enough amount of knowledge, but yeah, as Medicos say, don’t rely on only one book; you must pay attention to other books to increase your knowledge.

So here is our 2nd remonndation


Textbook of Physiology by A.K. JAINak jain

This book is second most loved by students for physiology. If you’re seeking an alternative to Sembulingam and by an Indian author, this is the best choice. The book is primarily focused on students and their exams, presenting topics in a pointwise manner for easy understanding and exam answer ready. It includes appropriate flow charts and tables where necessary.

However, some topics may be challenging to fully grasp. In many instances, you may find yourself simply memorizing information without gaining a deep understanding of the topic. Overall, it’s a commendable book, especially useful for university final exams and for learning purposes but not a great book to built concepts.



Concise Textbook of Human Physiology by INDU KHURANA

Above two books provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the topics. This book help you to build you some good concepts, ensuring that you don’t merely memorize information but truly comprehend the concepts. This makes them invaluable for scoring well in class tests and university exams, as the detailed explanations allow you to craft thorough answers. As previously mentioned, ‘No book is complete,’ so it’s really neccesary to have multiple sources to enhance your knowledge. Therefore, utilize this book in combination with A.K. Jain and Sembulingam.

Now, let’s move towards to the most popular and widely recommended book on physiology across the globe.

Guyton & Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology

The ultimate bible for physiology is undoubtedly Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. No one can deny it! Trust us, it’s the best book for physiology available till date, offering an extensive amount of knowledge. However, these books contain a plethora of information, much of which may not be necessary for examinations. While clinically it’s more important, the main challenge lies in its vastness and exhaustive detail which makes its weakness too, as multiple students can’t cope up with so much information at once.

One notable feature is the storytelling approach used to explain concepts. As stories are memorable, grasping the concepts becomes easier. The explanations are beautifully crafted, making the reading experience enjoyable. If you aim to build a strong foundation and concepts, this book is unparalleled and most recommedted for those who are preparing for Post Graduation entrance exams.

If Physiology is an Art, Guyton and hall is Picasso 

So, the decision to go with guyton is ultimately yours. However, in the first year, students often find themselves conjested for time due to the burden of other subjects. Therefore, our recommendation for this book is at a lower priority, just go through in your free time for concept building.

Now, let’s introduce a concise, last and straightforward book to our list.

Ganong’s Review Of Medical Physiology

A summary book or you can say a review book, differs from a textbook in its nature. It only recomanned to read only after studying other books and building a solid understanding of the concepts. However, being authored by a foreign author, its language might pose a challenge for students. The information may surpasses the undergraduate level make it more unsuitable for direct exam preparation. But it’s utility lies in developing concepts, offering additional insights not found in other textsbooks. Consider utilizing this book for your post graduation entrance exam.

That’s it, for the theory. Now moving ahead to the practical parts. Always give importance to practical subjects because they will definitely help you to clinical knowledge.

  1. Manual of Practical Physiology by A.K. JAIN

A short and sweet book gives you everything about the practical parts. practicals are way funnier while performing but as A.K. Jain is a short book it contains only a piece of information, so if you have poor lab support then we recommend you to go with C L. GHAI our second recommantion

  1. A Textbook Of Practical Physiology Paperback by C L. GHAI

As an alternative to A.K. Jain, a deep book gives you the complete deep knowledge of practical but simultaneous boring, but yes if you have prepared your topic from these books then mark our words you will not have any kind of viva fear because it covers all major question which an examiner can ask. So hard works always pay off. Now it’s up to you.

So winding up the topic if you want to buy minimum books then go with these two:

  1. Essentials Of Medical Physiology by K Sembulingam & Prema Sembulingam
  2. Manual of Practical Physiology by A.K. JAIN

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