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Lucas Watson
Lucas Watson

Good Books For Medical Students |VERIFIED|



During my candidate speech for the AAFP Board of Directors at the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students, I mentioned several books that inspired me throughout my journey in medicine. I was excited to be contacted by several students seeking recommendations after that speech because books (including audiobooks) and podcasts have been some of the most impactful motivators during my medical school career.




good books for medical students



As a fourth-year student, I've enjoyed the luxury of more free time to explore more media, much of which is centered around medicine. However, exploring other topics intertwined with social determinants of health has really broadened my perspective on the issues patients struggle with day in and day out. Below are some of the books and podcasts that have consistently reminded me of my purpose on this sometimes-challenging path to medicine. I promise they will affect your patient care more than the Krebs cycle.


Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End -- Though we are taught in medical school to diagnose and treat disease, we are rarely taught how to deal with the frailty of aging and the inevitability of death. No matter what field of medicine you choose, you will walk away from this book by Atul Gawande, M.D., M.P.H., knowing we can all do a better job of exploring end-of-life goals and giving our patients the ability to make more fulfilling decisions at the end of life.


My Own Country: A Doctor's Story -- Although his novel Cutting for Stone has arguably received more acclaim, this memoir by Abraham Verghese, M.D., M.A.C.P., resonated with me personally because it is about Verghese's time practicing in the same Appalachian city in which I am completing my medical training. When the HIV/AIDS epidemic hit this conservative rural region, Verghese was an internal medicine resident and one of the first doctors to treat this stigmatized disease. In My Own Country, we get to see the beginnings of his now renowned advocacy for compassionate bedside manner.


Beartown -- Fredrik Backman's novel starts as a story about a hockey game that will significantly impact the economy and future of Beartown, a community completely consumed by the sport. However, when this small town is hit with a shocking accusation against its star player, both community members and readers begin to understand the intricacy of how tragedies like these happen and how they cause horrible ripple effects. I'm doing my best to interest you without spoiling the story, but this is one of the best books I've read in the last year and it provides such an important perspective on what is happening every day in our communities -- whether we know or it not. When you're done, I also recommend Backman's A Man Called Ove as a heartwarming and hopeful follow-up to any of these other recommendations.


When Breath Becomes Air -- At the height of his career as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi, M.D., finds himself in the horribly unique position of being both a new physician and a young patient. Armed with more knowledge than one might desire in his situation, Kalanithi has to decide how to live with what indeterminate amount of time he has left after being diagnosed with a cancer that he knows will ultimately take his life. Kalanithi's autobiography is an emotional odyssey that forces medical professionals to question our own values and priorities. Pro tip: Do not finish this book in the middle seat of a plane on the way to National Conference because you will be crying.


"The Nocturnists" -- Those who know me know that I am a huge proponent of narrative medicine, which is probably why this is my favorite of the medical podcasts. This is a collection of stories from physicians in various fields who share how their careers have been shaped by poignant experiences. Try "Compassionate Release," the second episode of season two, in which family physician Michele DiTomas, M.D., discusses her work in correctional medicine at a men's prison in Los Angeles. If you've never thought about working with incarcerated populations, she might just change your mind.


Anything involving Brené Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W. -- Brown is everywhere these days, and for good reason. Her talent is digging through research on unifying human experiences and giving us the language to grow and live more "wholehearted" lives. She discusses several topics that I have personally dealt with as a direct result of medical school: shame, failure, vulnerability, trust and courage. She will leave you feeling "seen, heard and valued," which can sometimes be difficult to find in medical education. I'd start at the beginning by listening to her TEDxHouston talk about the power of vulnerability. Then check out the interviews she's done on several podcasts, such as "Ten Percent Happier."


"The Curbsiders" -- This popular podcast is definitely more clinically oriented, but it's great for medical students with upcoming tests or away rotations who are looking for ways to utilize time spent exercising, driving or getting outside. This is also a favorite for residents who are looking to brush up on topics on their way to clinic.


"AFP Podcast"-- I know it sounds like I'm tooting our own horn here, but this podcast -- hosted by University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix Family Medicine Residency Program Director Steven Brown, M.D., and third-year residents -- explores evidence from American Family Physician in a quick 30 minutes. In case that doesn't excite you, I will say episodes often cover topics outside the standard realm of medicine. For example, I just listened to an episode about coaching patients on blood pressure management, which tells listeners that physicians who emphasize patient ownership and show care and concern for their patients have better outcomes for behavioral interventions on blood pressure management. Sounds like something I can do as a medical student!


If you are a medical student or planning to apply to medical school, it is essential to know the importance of a few interesting subjects in which your in-depth understanding is required to become a competent physician. Pathology is one of them. It is the most important discipline that is aimed at providing a clear understanding of etiology, pathogenesis, pathological anatomy, and pathophysiology of various diseases. Without a clear understanding of pathology, memorizing clinical syndromes and their treatment plans can be a challenge for medical students.


Pathology is taught during the first and second years of medical school, along with anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, physiology, and pharmacology. In addition, this subject is also tested in USMLE Step1, so having a strong understanding of pathology will help you score good marks in board exams. In order to develop you an in-depth understanding of pathology, here I have listed the top 8 pathology books that will help improve your pathological concepts.


It is one of the best pathology books that is written by the famous author Dr. Goljan who is renowned for providing outstanding educational resources. The book covers all the key pathology concepts that are being tested on the USMLE Step 1. It includes more than 400 USMLE style online questions and hundreds of colorful images. Students are preparing for USMLE Step 1 should read this book to review the important information. The high-yield margin notes and user-friendly makes it easier for students to develop a deeper understanding of key pathological concepts and conditions.


Students who want to improve their GPA and ace their clinical rotations should read this book. It beautifully describes the most important principles and concepts of gross and microscopic pathology. You will also find the latest information on molecular biology and genetics. It includes new illustrations that help students understand the concepts visually. The clinical vignette-style questions improve your problem-solving skills, and detailed explanations of every question will strengthen your understanding of key content.


It is one of the best pathology books for medical students that help them master the key concepts that are required for becoming a good doctor. The book includes essential pathology concepts and beautifully connects basic sciences and clinical medicine with clinicopathologic concepts. Students can improve their learning by reviewing clinical cases, virtual microscope slides, and therapy boxes. Furthermore, self-assessment questions allow you to advance your knowledge of pathology.


It is an excellent read for students of the first year and second year who are preparing for USMLE Step1. The book helps you understand basic pathology concepts, disease processes, systematic pathology, and disorders of each organ system. Colorful illustrations and their descriptions make it easier to learn the concept. You will also find USMLE style questions that help you determine your strengths and weak areas while preparing you for the actual board exam.


It is one of the most popular books that is exclusively designed for medical students. The book beautifully explains basic pathology principles and offers comprehensive knowledge on disease mechanisms by providing clinical photographs, histopathology images, and clear graphics. It is a great choice to improve your problem-based learning and aid exam preparation. You will also find pathology crosswords that help students recall important terminologies and topics in an engaging way.


If you want to excel in your pathology coursework and score impressive marks, you should read this book. It is a great choice for students of medicine, saves their time by providing essential information in a more interactive manner. The colorful layout and user-friendly format make it easier for students to learn the intricate concepts. Each chapter covers the full range of curriculum topics, clinical considerations and text boxes, hints, and tips to learn pathology. A self-assessment section allows you to check your understanding of the subject and aid exam preparation. 350c69d7ab


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