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Recommended Reads

Preparing for a career as a healthcare professional requires extensive exploration. A great way to gain insight into the lives, emotions, challenges, and successes of healthcare professionals and their patients is through text. Some recommendations are below.

Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber
Becoming Dr. Q
by Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa
Being Mortal
by Atul Gawande
Better: A Surgeon's Note on Performance by Atul Gawande
Between Expectations: Lessons from a Pediatric Residency by Meghan MacLean Weir
Complications: A Surgeon's Note on an Imperfect Science
by Atul Gawande
Body of Work by Christine Montross
County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago's Public Hospital by David Ansell
Crazy Good Interviewing: How Acting a Little Crazy Can Get You the Job by John B. Molidor  
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Do You Believe in Magic? by Paul Offit
Every Patient Tells a Story
 by Dr. Lisa Sanders
Everything written by Atul Gawande
Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality by Pauline Chen
Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
by Sheri Fink
Gallery: The Beauty of Architecture that Heals by Chee Pearlman
God’s Hotel: a Doctor, a Hospital and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine
by Victoria Sweet.
How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman
I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse
by Lee Gutkind (Editor)
Just Here Trying to Save a Few Lives by Pamela Grim
Knocking on Heaven’s Door
, by Katy Butler
Living and Dying in Brick City: Stories from the Front Lines of an Inner-City E.R. by Sampson Davis, Lisa Frazier Page
Medical Apartheid by Harriet Washington
Mindset by Carol Dweck (about Growth Mindset for learning)
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
My Own Country
by Abraham Verghese
On Doctoring: Stories, Poems, Essays edited by Richard Reynods & John Stone
Pain Chronicles
by Melanie Thernstrom
Resident On Call: A Doctor's Reflections on His First Years at Mass General by Scott Rivkees
Rule Number Two by  Dr. Heidi Kraft (about being an army psychiatrist)
Soul of Medicine by Dr. Sherwin Nuland
Spirit Catches You by Anne Fadiman
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Talking with Doctors by David Newman
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
The DO's: Osteopathic Medicine in Ameria by Norman Gevitz
The Emperor of Maladies
by Siddhartha Mukherjee
The Human Side of Medicine: What It's Like To Be A Patient; What It's Like To Be A Physician, by Savett, L. A.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
The Medical School Coach: Waking Your Inner Doctor by Gary Rose
The Medical School Interview: From Preparation to Thank You Notes: Empowering Advice to Help You Succeed,
by Jessica Freedman, M.D.
The Scalpel and the Silver Bear by Lori Arviso Alvord and Elizabeth Cohen Van Pelt
The Soul of Medicine by Sherwin Nuland
Touching: THe Human Significance of the Skin by Ashley Montagu
Treatment Kind and Fair: Letters to a Young Doctor
by Perry Klass
Tuesdays with Morrie
by Mitch Albom
What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine by Danielle Ofri


Video Recommendations

Doctor Diaries.

How We're Harnessing Nature's Hidden Superpowers by Oded Shoseyov. Ted Talk:

Living in Emergency: The Stories of Doctors Without Borders (2008). Website: 

The American Nurse. This film explores some of the biggest issues facing America – aging, war, poverty, prisons – through the work and lives of five nurses: Jason Short with home-bound patients in Appalachia; Tonia Faust with prison inmates providing hospice care; Naomi Cross bringing babies into the world in Labor & Delivery; Sister Stephen running a nursing home where the entire nursing staff comes together to sing for dying residents; and Army veteran Brian McMillion rehabilitating wounded soldiers returning from war. It is an examination of real people that will change how we think about nurses and how we wrestle with the challenges of healing America. Website:

The Conversation Project (PBS Newshour). Website: 

The Story of Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective and a biographer’s passion. The series artfully weaves three different films in one: a riveting historical documentary; an engrossing and intimate  film; and a scientific and investigative report. Trailer:

The Waiting Room (2012). Website:

Twice Born:  Stories from the Special Delivery Unit. The work of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's fetal surgery center is chronicled in this documentary series, which follows families from around the country as they learn of and decide to act on the medical challenges facing their unborn children. Trailer

Vice Special Report: Killing Cancer Full Episode (HBO). The HBO documentary series aired a special report on cutting edge cancer treatments on February 27. If you subscribe to HBO, you can watch the episode online. The show follows the pioneering doctors and researchers who are changing the face of modern-day medicine. The exclusive in-depth special also features some of the cancer survivors who have already been saved by these medical breakthroughs. Full video:



Medical School Headquarters:

  • The Premed Years
  • OldPreMeds
  • The MCAT Podcast

Tri-I Pod; The MD-PhD Admissions Podcast: