Five Books Every Medical School Applicant Should Read

books for medical school applicant

Try reading some books that will open your mind to the world of medicine, and help strengthen your motivation and mindset. The following are recommended books (from 1st year medics) that every medical school applicant should read.

1. This Is Going To Hurt: Secret Diaries of a junior Doctor by Adam Kay

After six years working on NHS hospital wards Adam Kay, has turned his medical diaries, covering everything from bouncing babies to phantom illnesses, into a hilarious new book titled This is going to hurt. The book is a fun read and provides everything you want to know and more  about life on and off the hospital ward.

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2. The man who mistook his wife for a hat by Oliver Sacks

Sacks is considered one of the world’s best-known neurologist. This book tells the stories of individuals afflicted with different diseases: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents…the case studies go on.

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3. The Other Side by Kate Granger

Granger is a doctor specialising in geriatric medicine, but she is also a terminally ill cancer patient. This book describes her journey “as a patient through a doctor’s eyes”, and is therefore invaluable to any health professional, particularly medical students and young doctors. 

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4. The Checklist Manifesto: How To Get Things Right  by Atul Gawande

Author of several books on health care and patient safety, Dr. Gawande is a surgeon who in this book explores how the simplest of methods—a checklist—can save lives and reduce errors. It is a great read as it explores the increasing complexity of decisions medical professions have to deal with, and examines human failure.

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5. Bad science by Ben Goldacre

In this highly entertaining book, Goldacre sheds light on how the media misunderstands science and why we are so gullible. It is important to keep a critical mind in medicine, so you can treat this book as a form of light revision for those data interpretation and critical analysis questions in your exams and interviews!

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What books would you recommend to a student that wants to study a degree in medicine? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.