Top 10 free resources for medical students

Starting medical school can be an exciting and overwhelming time. On your path to becoming an MD, there are so many lectures, tutorials, and clinical rotations to keep up with that it can be hard to know how best to consolidate your learning and keep on top of your studies.

The good news is you’re not alone. Almost every medical student will feel this way and there are plenty of great free resources for medical students available online. But with so many out there, how do you know which ones are best to use? That’s where we can help! We’ve set out our top 10 free resources for medical students in this handy guide, so you can make the most of your study time, consolidate learning in a fun and interactive way, and feel ready to take on your exams. Here are our top picks:

1. MSD Manual

With 3D anatomy models, case studies, quizzes, and all the latest medical news, the MSD Manual is a fully comprehensive online medical resource for students. Beginning its life as a small reference book for physicians in 1899, it has evolved over the last 100-plus years into one of the most widely used, trusted, and best free online resources for medical students. The free videos, photos, and animations are definitely worth a look and help to bring medical theory to life.

2. Anki

Tipped by many students as one of the most effective ways to learn, Anki is one of the best study tools for medical students out there. It can take a little practice to get the most out of it, but the clever use of active recall and spaced repetition is known to be one of the most efficient and effective ways to study. Use pre-made flashcard decks covering different medical specialties or make your own deck to help you ace that exam.

3. Amboss

Quizzes are a great way to sharpen your medical know-how and keep your knowledge up to date. Amboss is a great website for medical students and practicing professionals alike, offering an extensive bank of multiple-choice questions. The interlinked content and clever image overlay mean you can brush up on definitions and practice diagnoses using charts and x-rays while you quiz. The app can also link with your Anki account, so you can get additional Amboss pop-up explanations alongside your Anki flashcard decks.

Get a 5-day free trial and sign-up for a relatively inexpensive monthly or yearly subscription if you like it.

4. Healthline

As a medical student, you’ll need to access information from lots of different medical journals. Healthline saves you time and hassle by collating articles from all of the top medical journals into one convenient place. Covering a huge range of topics from Alzheimer’s to breast cancer, and depression to sexually transmitted diseases, it’s a must for any medical student looking to maximize their study time and avoid trawling through lots of different websites.

5. Acland Anatomy

Excelling in anatomy is essential for any medical student. This series of amazing three-dimensional anatomy videos uses human cadaver specimens to help you brush up ahead of your anatomy exams. With expert dissection covering the full scope of the human body, you’ll be an anatomy expert in no time.

You can sign-up for a free 48-hour trial and extend to a full subscription later if you want continued access to the videos.

6. OnlineMedEd  

Discover free resources split by clinical medicine, basic sciences, and even preparing for your medical residency. Created by medical professionals who hated the style of resources they saw at medical school, this resource is a forward-thinking hub of knowledge. 

7. Radiopaedia

Need some help or extra practice interpreting medical imaging? Radiopaedia is an open-edit resource for all things radiology. With around 50,000 patient medical cases and expert reports, it’s an extensive online medical resource that can really help improve your radiology knowledge. There are also some fun quizzes you can do to test how much you’ve learned and compare your diagnoses and understanding against case findings.

8. Osmosis

With more than 100 medical and nursing expert content creators, the Osmosis platform is a trusted health education platform for students and practicing physicians. The online medical resource condenses 1-hour lectures into digestible 10-minute videos. Coupled with study notes and self-assessment questions it provides a comprehensive learning experience and is one of the best apps for medical students out there.

Get a 7-day free trial with 6-monthly, annual, and two-year subscriptions available if it’s a resource you find helpful.

9. American Medical Association

From up-to-date medical articles and research to podcasts, fellowship opportunities, and leadership training, the American Medical Association (AMA) is an incredible free resource for medical students and professionals who want to continue their learning journey. The AMA Ed Hub is a particularly useful tool for helping you find and track online courses and accredited programs in one place. It offers courses in various formats so you can read, watch, listen, or interact with course content the way you need to help you learn best.

10. UpToDate

UpToDate is jam-packed with medical knowledge that can help answer a student’s essential clinical questions. As its name implies, all the information in the app is updated regularly, evidence-based, and accurate, enabling students to use it as both a quick reference and an efficient information portal covering a wide range of topics. The free app features well-cited articles that provide a great starting point for any student’s inquiry, while the paid subscription version offers even more features.

Other resources and help for medical students

Our top 10 free resources for medical students are great for helping you maximize your study time and keeping your medical knowledge up to date with fun, educational, and interactive tools. But studying and working full-time can be a lot, so as well as online resources, make sure you look after your well-being and seek out further help and support, too, when you need it.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or in need of some extra advice, ask classmates, friends, tutors, and professors who can provide additional support, study tips, help with time management, or other emotional support. Remember people want to see you succeed and can signpost you to other available resources that might help. For more tips, read our handy guide on how to succeed at medical school.

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