There are three principal surgical textbooks, any one of which will be acceptable for this course:
Sabiston’s Textbook of Surgery, edited by Townsend et al. (published by Elsevier)
Schwarzt’s Principles of Surgery, edited by Brunicardi et al. (published by McGraw-Hill Medical Pub. Division)
Greenfield’s Surgery – Scientific Principles and Practice, edited by Mulholland et al. (published by Wolters Kluwer)
William Silen’s paperback, Cope’s The Early Diagnosis of the Acute Abdomen (published by Oxford University Press, Inc.) is a medical classic. It is relatively short and inexpensive (about $35). This important book best describes the clinical presentation and differential diagnosis of acute abdominal diseases and is must reading for surgeons.
Since surgical patients often have significant medical diseases, you should probably own a copy of The Washington Manual. This pocket guide provides a quick review of most common medical diseases and conditions.