Searching for your next read? Look no further! We decided to put together a list of some of the most powerful medical memoirs from the past two decades or so. For locum tenens physicians especially, reading is a great way to pass the time on a plane ride to your assignment. Keep reading to find out our top picks!
7 Must-Read Medical Memoirs
1. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
If you’re looking for a moving, inspirational read, this book is for you. At the age of 36, Paul Kalanithi was on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon. Things took a horrible turn when Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating dying patients, and the next he was a dying patient. In his memoir, Kalanithi investigates what it means to live in the face of a terminal illness and wrestles with some ultimate questions.
2. Hundreds of Interlaced Fingers by Vanessa Grubbs
Grubbs’s book is different from other physician memoirs in that it is a love story. In her book, Grubbs tells the story of how she fell in love with a man with kidney disease during her time as a primary care doctor. This event ultimately led Grubbs to become a nephrologist. As a woman of color, Grubbs also tackles the issue of racial bias in medicine in her book.
3. My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor
At the age of 37, Jill Bolte Taylor was a skilled brain scientist when she experienced a massive stroke. Through a scientist’s eyes, she watched her mind deteriorate amidst being unable to talk, walk, or even recall her past. Thankfully, she recovered completely and was led to enlightenment. Her inspirational book details the insight she gained into the human brain as a result of her stroke.
4. Healing Children by Kurt Newman
In his book, Newman argues that critically ill and injured patients receive better care in pediatric hospitals than at adult hospitals. This claim is generally supported by data, but Newman makes his cause through personal stories of children who were suffering in the care of adult providers only to be rescued by a pediatrician (often Newman himself). If you’re someone who wants to explore the beauty of pediatric medicine, this book is for you.
5. Every Patient Tells a Story by Lisa Sanders
This book discusses “medical mysteries and the art of diagnosis,” which is often the most important and difficult parts of a doctor’s job. Through gripping stories of patients with baffling symptoms, Sanders details the complexity and necessity of providing a proper diagnosis and solving difficult medical mysteries.
6. The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly by Matt McCarthy
If you’re someone who prefers more of a lighthearted read, this book is the pick for you. In his funny memoir, McCarthy discusses his intern year at a New York hospital and emphasizes the paradox of becoming a doctor: How do you learn to save lives in a job where there is no practice?
7. Rescue 471: A Paramedic’s Stories by Peter Canning
Canning’s book offers a rare look into the real world of emergency medicine with several true, gripping stories of his action-packed experiences as a paramedic. From a four-month-old baby who has stopped breathing to an elderly woman with a life-threatening abdominal mass, these stories show the reality of the “ER on the streets.”
Which of these medical memoirs are you adding to your reading list? Let us know in the comments section below! And, as always, don’t forget to head over to LocumJobsOnline.com and browse some of the hottest locum jobs in the country!