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Good books to read before medical school...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by jsegalBSD, Sep 10, 2007.

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  1. jsegalBSD

    jsegalBSD 7+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2007
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  3. ADeadLois

    ADeadLois Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2005
    I guess I'll be cliche and recommend "The House of God"
  4. speeter

    speeter OMS-1 2+ Year Member

    Jul 20, 2007
    West Michigan
    I just finished "House of God" and it was amazing. I am looking for another now.
  5. Meatwad

    Meatwad Reformed 7+ Year Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    A biography of Yngwie J Malmsteen.

    Seriously, the only books I'd read are the ones written by interns and residents that talk about how horrible it is. I'd try to scare myself away as much as possible. If you can't get the idea of being a doctor out of your head, then good, stick with it. But seriously, you'll be a doctor for the rest of your life, try and enjoy your time NOT being a doctor while you can. Just read anything that makes you a well-rounded person. Read books on current political problems, historical books, etc.
  6. montessori2md

    montessori2md Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 1, 2005
    On the Road Again
    See, Meatwad is actually making a good argument for why to read these books NOW....because later, you'll run away screaming when people suggest these books to you ;)

    I'm a bookworm, I've read a pile of "premed" books, and the only ones I liked:

    War Hospital -this book rocked, on MSF in the former Yugoslavia during the war. The opposite of cute.

    First Cut -about anatomy lab, it was cute in a, oh look how the little student doctors go through a spiritual journey by slicing and dicing, sort of way.

    The Worst of (all?) Evils -a history of pain -This is a true academic book, not a page turner, but it was really cool to read about MDs inhaling random compounds trying to find one that would make them pass out and not kill them.

    I read the pile of intern/med student/surgeon books, they were ok. I would like to point out that there is a distinct difference between the pre-80 hr and post-80 hr descriptions of "quality of life", so while we can talk about rule violations, there is some evidence of improvement in the hell that is intern year. Pay attn to the dates if you care.

    Also read The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, thought it was cute, if you're into multiethnic pts and/or peds. Learned what the word Hmong meant. I live in a diverse neighborhood, and can totally see some of my neighbors sacrificing livestock in order to convince the gods to keep their child alive (not right in my yard, but somewhere nearby....).

    Oh, and just to offer a total fluff book, there's this series by Gabaldon ("A Breath of Snow and Ashes" is the one I read) about a British female surgeon who time travelled and eventually ended up in pre-Revolutionary America. It's just a hair short of being one of those novels with a lady with a corset on the front, but she does brew her own penicillin and try to convince the locals to eat greens and take care of their teeth. This is the sort of thing we probably ought to be reading, totally useless junk, rather than anything resembling real life.

    Oh, and for meatwad and other non premed reading sorts, I have read a big fat pile of nonmedical novels, I especially recommend Cryptonomicon -really good reel you in sort of book, but lasted me longer than day or so I usually get out of a Michael Creichton type thing.
  7. MWK

    MWK Over-represented majority 2+ Year Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    Lexington KY
    I have a little pile of books growing on my bookshelf (see if you can guess my interests)

    House of God- Samuel Shem (Must read)
    The Making of a Surgeon in the 21st Century- Craig Miller
    Another Day in the Frontal Lobe- Katrina Firlik
    The Knife Man (history of John Hunter)- Wendy Moore
    The History of Surgery- Knut Haeger

    I want to get the original "Making of a Surgeon", as well. There was a good long book thread on here like a year ago, back in my lurking days.
  8. RedSox1982

    RedSox1982 7+ Year Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    Complications by Atul Gawande. Not to be read if you're having surgery done anytime soon.
    Whats up Doc! likes this.
  9. Meatwad

    Meatwad Reformed 7+ Year Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Hmmm..You are gunning for rads, right?
  10. Nikki2002

    Nikki2002 Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story"
  11. maestro1625

    maestro1625 10+ Year Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    you'll be in med school in a few months... why the hell would you want to overkill yourself more than that? Read NON-medically related stuff to keep your sanity. Get through the Harry Potter series, pick up something like "Freakanomics," "Blink," " or "The world is Flat" that would at least be tangentially related to medicine, but not to the point where you can't think about anything else. On my long weekend this weekend I got through "The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game" by Michael Lewis, about a current Lineman from Ole Miss and the process of recruiting him.
  12. Koch

    Koch 5+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    Does this thread really need to be started every freaking week?
  13. jsegalBSD

    jsegalBSD 7+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2007
    why do you care so much? if you dont have anything positive to add, then perhaps there is something else more constructive for you to do with your time.
  14. Quix

    Quix Herr Professor Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

    Jul 8, 2006
    Lake Charles, LA
    War Hospital and Complications are absolutely stellar.
  15. xpinchx

    xpinchx Michigan 2+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    I read Complications as well and it was a great read. If you haven't already read it, Stiff is a great read, and very interesting!
  16. Zippership

    Zippership the Burninator 5+ Year Member

    Dec 17, 2006

    Ooh! I love this question! There are some great books on doctoring out there. Here's a partial list:

    How Doctor's Think and The Anatomy of Hope by Jerome Groopman
    Complications and Better by Atul Gawande
    The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
    House of God by Samuel Shem
    On Doctoring by Richard Reynolds and John Stone
    The Soul of a Doctor by Susan Pories, Sachin Jain, and Gordon Harper
    Stiff by Mary Roach
    Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
    Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
    Pathologies of Power by Paul Farmer
    Treatment Kind and Fair by Perri Klass

    That should run the gamut from very traditional classics to modern narratives. I have lots more so if you run out for some reason, send me a message and I'll add to the list. Enjoy!
  17. HPMMajor

    HPMMajor 2+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Hot Lights Cold Steel- Michael Collins (he actually operated on my ankle!)
    Momma May be better off dead- don't remember the author but its about the inequities in healthcare, mainly Medicaid recipients. I'm interested in Policy as much as medicine, so it was very interesting!
    Complications- Atul Gawande
  18. ysk1

    ysk1 Banned Banned

    Aug 24, 2007
    Are most books mentioned here recent? Can most of them be borrowed from a local library?
    If they're new, what are the ways of obtaining them for reading other than just buying them yourself, borrowing them from people around you, and so on?
  19. emquiksilver

    emquiksilver MD = Doctor of Masochism 2+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2007
    New York
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Paul Starr's Social Transformation of American Medicine.

    Some of these books are pretty popular so you should expect a waitlist (ominous?) for the books. If you can't borrow from friend or library, check out your local bookstore and just camp there.
  20. Funky

    Funky This space is for sale 10+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    read the kite runner
  21. ocddoc

    ocddoc 2+ Year Member

    Sep 13, 2007
  22. sanchopanza

    sanchopanza 2+ Year Member

    Jul 14, 2007
    Don't read books about medicine. Read the classics. Real, good literature will teach you a lot more about yourself and your goals.
  23. Revenant

    Revenant 2+ Year Member

    Aug 29, 2007

    Oh...and Candide....Voltaire rules.

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