Books About Doctors

Books about doctors: A common theme

Books about doctors
Image courtesy of: National Kidney & Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC)

Books about doctors share a common theme. They all provide some information about how doctors think and how they work. These books are not only very informative and educational but also very interesting. Mostly written by doctors, these book allow  doctors to open up and give insights into topics that are usually not discussed in their professional lives. This gives the doctors a sense of freedom and a medium to express their unique views and opinions and allow them to think outside the box. If you look at these books closely, the books about doctors are really books about patients they take care of. The opinions, ideas and commentaries in these books all come from the medical practice of the doctor writing the book.

Books about doctors are very different from medical textbooks

These books differ from general medical textbooks in that they are meant to be read and enjoyed by the general readers. Unlike medical textbooks, these books need to tell stories in interesting and readable manner. They also need to be simple enough to appeal to the masses. They can not have any medical jargon without proper explanation. Books about doctors that read like a friendly conversation with a close friend who happens to be a doctor have the greatest appeal among the enthusiasts of such literature.

Books about doctors are influenced by the primary area of practice and specialization of the doctor. A book written by a surgeon will focus on topics that are encountered while taking care of surgical patients. Surgeons spend most of their time in the operating room and their stories reflect that aspect of medicine.A book written by a family practitioner will focus more on preventative care and family dynamics. Similarly, books written by Internal Medicine doctors tend to focus on challenges of making the correct diagnosis in complex situations.

I have been an avid reader of books about doctors for more than a decade. I started reading them even before I was in medical school. In fact, those books helped me make the important decision to pursue a career in medicine. In the last 10 years, several very interesting and informative books have been published. Several titles that have appeared on the New York Times best seller list.  It shows that there is a huge amount of interest among general readers for such books. I have a few favorite ones and I will be reviewing those books here. I will use two different viewpoints in describing these books about doctors: one as a fellow doctor and one as a book enthusiast.

Here is the list of books about doctors organized by the author names in the alphabetical order:

Atul Gawande
emily transue
Gilbert Welch
Jerome Groopman
Perri Klass
Rachel Naomi Remen
Samuel Shem
Siddhartha Mukherjee
T R Reid
Jill Taylor