pauline chen

wurlitzerpukebox-deactivated201  asked:

dear dr,

in the uk we don't really have pre-med as such but i'm currently getting the required biology/chemistry qualifications to apply to medical school after making an ill-informed choice about mathematics, and then philosophy.

would you be able to recommend me some reading material? anything from the day to day life of a doctor to a particularly interesting technical text that somebody with incomplete knowledge could follow.

to anybody else with the same question, i enjoyed 'better' and 'complications' by atul gawande, and 'trust me: i'm a junior doctor' by max pemberton but both are very britain-centric and the intricacies of the nhs might be lost on the presumably mostly american tumblr audience.

thanks.

Howdy, lrkn –

Hey that is a particularly excellent question! I love to read, but when I have free time to read something, it usually isn’t a medical book (I find that journals are more applicable to me right now, and if you have the option of signing up for a free “Emergency Med” or “Family Med” journal, go for it! The sections with lots of pictures – derm cases, radiology cases, etc – are particularly intriguing for the early-medical person like yourself.) However, I HAVE read a couple medical-related books over the years that I particularly enjoyed:

  • Anything by Richard Selzer, a former surgeon, including “Letters to a Young Doctor,” “Confessions of a Knife”, and many others… more info here. His writing style is so easy to follow, humorous, and inspiring. Good “behind-the-scenes” real-life medical stories.
  • “Final Exam” by Pauline Chen – about the way doctors and patients deal (or don’t deal) with impending death, hospice care, etc.
  • I have NOT read “Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation” by Sandeep Jauhar, but have heard good things about it from friends.
  • I have partially-read “The House of God” by Samuel Shem, which is a fictionalized account of a hyper-sexualized (?) and depressed resident’s experiences in a cut-throat hospital. I can’t recommend it for everyone, but it is considered a classic in the “Literature about Residency” genre.

I’ll check into those books you mentioned! Anybody else have some good medicine-related “Books for the Medically-Interested Person” to suggest?