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6 Must Reads For Premeds

Updated: May 16, 2019


Growing up, I loved to read, you could always find me with a book! As I grew older though, life got busy and I couldn’t find as much time to read for fun anymore.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to read more in 2019 and I have mostly focused on medical-related books. Not only is it super interesting to me, it is also educational!

I’ve compiled a list of my top 6 medicine-related books for premed students that I have read or am working on throughout college.


Do No Harm

I loved this book so much. If you are interested in surgery or have an obsession with the brain like I do, you need to read this book!

Dr. Henry Marsh details his experiences as a brain surgeon in England while teaching the reader about various brain pathologies. You will encounter his successes and defeats and everything that characterizes a brain surgeon’s life.

Each chapter is the name of something that could go wrong in the nervous system and includes a definition of that condition followed by the story of a patient Dr. Marsh treated with that condition.




Brain On Fire

I could not put this book down! I love mysteries, especially mystery books and this was definitely a mystery!


Written by Susannah Cahalan, she details the mysterious illness that plagued her and completely changed her life while no doctor could figure out what was wrong.

Another book about brains {what can I say? I love the brain} that shows just how powerful the brain and nervous system is and how one thing can go wrong and cause a horrible series of events.

This book was also made into a Netflix movie! Read the book before the movie though, it is much more detailed and will make watching the movie afterwards more fun!

Gifted Hands

Gifted Hands is written by neurosurgeon extraordinaire, Dr. Ben Carson {okay I didn’t even realize the first 3 books all have to do with neuro}.

Dr. Carson details growing up in poverty to becoming the director of neurosurgery at John’s Hopkins and being one of the most celebrated neurosurgeons in the world.

It is an uplifting book and reminds you that anyone can get to where they want to be, no matter where they started!

Last Night in the OR

Bud Shaw, MD writes this page-turner recount of his career as a transplant surgeon in the early 1980s.



If you are thinking of going into a surgical specialty, definitely read this book! I had a hard time putting this book down and read it very quickly.

The only negative thing I would say about this book is that it jumps around from the past to present but it is still fairly easy to follow!

Med School Confidential

I am still working on this book, it is a bit more difficult for me to read since it is not a story but the information in it will be very useful!

Robert H. Miller and Daniel M. Bissel, MD and outline everything you need to know about medical school in this book!

It takes you step-by-step through the whole process from thinking about medical school, applying and making it through 4 years of medical school.

Definitely a must-read for anyone considering medical school!

Intern Blues

This is the other book I am currently working on. Don’t let the length of it intimidate you! Robert Marion, MD compiles the experiences of 3 recently graduated doctors going through their internship year.



The book is a bit dated, it takes place in 1989, but it is a thorough recount of what it is like being an intern. They talk about their personal life struggles as well as their hospital life struggles.

When I first heard of this book, it was recommended for the families, friends and significant others of soon-to-be interns so they can get an idea of what their loved one will be going through during that year.

I think it is also very beneficial for premed students to get a little glimpse into what they will eventually be doing!


What are your favorite books related to medicine and healthcare?


Love, Jenny


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