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Friday, February 6, 2015

Discovering "Doctor Books": an Introduction to Medicine in Literature

Sure, you’ve, been watching Grey’s Anatomy since before you could pronounce laparoscopic cholecystectomy, but there is still so much to learn about the *real* life and work of *actual* doctors. Since I was 10 I’ve wanted to be a doctor, proudly wearing a white coat and stethoscope around my neck. When I discovered “doctor books”, (as I call them) my excitement about medicine soared. Many accomplished physicians have put pen to paper and documented their experiences in nonfiction memiors. Whether you are interested in medicine or just want to read some fascinating clinical tales, I highly recommend checking out some of the many doctor books available at the library. Spoiler alert: you won’t likely find any plane crashes, ferry boat collisions, or bombs in body cavities in these books (shout out to all of my fellow Grey’s fans

If you want a doctor book that reads like a novel, I suggest the books of Atul Gawande. Unlike other books I’ve read by prominent surgeons, Gawande comes off as down-to-earth, unprecedented, and humble. His first book, Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science was actually the inspiration for Grey’s Anatomy. Don’t be surprised if you notice that some of Gawande’s stories were retold on the show! After reading Complications, I wanted to share everything I had read with everyone I saw, i.e. “Do you know what hyperemesis is?” (Unstoppable throwing up) or “Do you want to hear a story about necrotizing fasciitis?” (a flesh-eating bacteria).  Some of Gawande’s other incredible memoirs include The Checklist Manifesto, Being Mortal, and Better.

Next on my list: The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks. Great title, right?

Post By Allie C. Homework Assistant 

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