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Medical Book and Podcast Recommendations

Looking for a good medicine-related book to read or podcast to listen to? We've picked our favourites to make your search a little easier!

December 2020
Allegra Wisking
UCL - 2nd Year Medical Student

With 2021 nearly upon us, some of you may be thinking about resolutions for the upcoming year. Reading more often is one I always have on my list, but I find it easy to give up if I don’t know what books to read, so I’m usually relying on other people for recommendations. Therefore, we thought it might be useful to provide you with a list of our top 20 medicine-related books. Not only will this give you some inspiration if one of your goals for 2021 is to read more (like me!) but it may also be useful for interviews, personal statements or just general interest!

For books that focus on the personal experiences of doctors, we recommend…

(in no particular order)

  1. Do No Harm by Henry Marsh
  2. The Doctor Will See You Now by Dr Amir Kahn
  3. Your Life in My Hands by Dr Rachel Clarke
  4. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
  5. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
  6. When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  7. Critical by Dr Matt Morgan
  8. The Laws of Medicine by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  9. The Secret GP by Dr Max Skittle
  10. This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
  11. The Prison Doctor by Dr Amanda Brown

For books that explore a medicine-related topic further (often from a historical perspective), we recommend…

  1. The Emperor of all Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

For books that provide you with some useful knowledge for interviews, we recommend…

  1. The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction by William Bynum
  2. Medical Ethics: A Very Short Introduction by Michael Dunn and Tony Hope

For books that are not strictly medicine related but are science-based, we recommend…

  1. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
  2. Why we sleep by Matthew Walker
  3. Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
  4. Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre

For fiction books that are medicine related, we recommend…

  1. The Children Act by Ian McEwan

Obviously, this list is very extensive so don’t feel as though you have to read every single book, but equally don’t feel restricted by this list - there are loads of great books out there, these are just some of our favourites!

Also, in future weeks will be releasing short summaries and reviews of a few of the books on this list so do look out for those posts!!

We understand that some people are less avid readers or find that they are too busy to be reading all the time. But don’t fret!

We have also compiled a list of podcast recommendations below. Podcasts are great because you can put them on whilst carrying out other tasks - I often pop on a podcast while cooking dinner, having a shower, or going for a walk. Similarly, the journey to school or work is also a good opportunity to have a listen. The podcasts we have included cover a broad range of topics (ie. are not all strictly medicine related).

  1. Not Overthinking
  2. On Purpose with Jay Shetty
  3. Scrubbed In
  4. Feel Better, Live More with Dr Rangan Chatterjee
  5. The Food Medic
  6. The Geeky Medics Podcast
  7. Untold Health
  8. 2 Docs Talk
  9. This Podcast Will Kill You
  10. Surviving Medicine
  11. Bedside Rounds
  12. TED Talks Daily
  13. Everyday Emergency
  14. Ways to Change the World

I would suggest doing a quick research of some of these recommendations to determine which books/podcasts pique your interest.

If you do read any of the books or have a listen to any of the podcasts that we’ve recommended, post a picture on Instagram and tag us @Medmentoruk as we’d love to see which ones you've been enjoying most!

Happy reading (and/or listening)!

Author and Editor: Allegra Wisking

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