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As a prospective pre-med student, are there any novels I should check out that are geared towards the medical field?

While I know reading independently and for fun is beneficial to all individuals, I wanted to know if any (both fiction and non-fiction) books are quintessential to a pre-medical student?

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James’s Answer

also, anything by Sir William Osler. he is quoted profusely in medical school. he wrote numerous books.

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James’s Answer

hi madeline,


great question. when i was in college i took several electives, "History of Science", "Medical Ethics", and "Medical Terminology" which began my exploration of medical history. i mostly read biographies, about Hippocrates, Galen, and other great physicians and scientists throughout history. although i'd never say those were wasted endeavors, i wish i had read about more contemporary figures like Jonas Salk, Walter Reed, etc.


in medical school one of the most widely read and discussed books was "The Nazi Doctors."


during residency many of us watched and discussed episodes of the TV show "ER."


last recommendation: despite taking 3 years of high school Spanish i found invaluable several courses of "Medical Spanish" and still refer to those texts.


good luck!

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Saravanan’s Answer

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human CadaversStiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the EndBeing Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of CancerThe Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola VirusThe Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus
Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect ScienceComplications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science
An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical TalesAn Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical TalesThe Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales
The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in HistoryThe Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History
The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern WorldThe Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World
The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic that Shaped Our HistoryThe American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic that Shaped Our History

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