Recommended Reading List

When choosing a University, College, or Medical School, applicants should make choices based on their passions and interests, and find professors who are leaders in these fields. This will make a huge impact on the Personal Statement and Interviews. For inspiration, med school applicants should read as many of these books as possible on the Oxford Medicine School Introductory Reading List and the list of other universities and colleges: 

  1. Bad Doctor by Ian Williams is a semi-autobiographical graphic novel that tells the story of the troubled life and times of a doctor with obsessive compulsive disorder.
  2. Bad Science by Ben Goldacre is a humorous book that examines many positive and negative issues in the medical industry.
  3. Blood of the Isles by Bryan Sykes traces the genetic origins of the British and the Irish.
  4. Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande explains how checklists can be used to simplify complex tasks to significantly increase success.
  5. Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande describes what it is like to be a surgeon, who cuts patients open.
  6. Conversations with Neil’s Brain by George Ojemann and William Calvin tells the intensely compelling stories of a neuroscientist, a brain surgeon, and a patient with epilepsy.
  7. Do No Harm by Henry Marsh takes an honest look at uplifting and upsetting aspects of working in the hustle and bustle of a state of the art hospital as a brain surgeon.
  8. Elegance in Science by Ian Glynn explains through a series of historical examples, how beauty and imagination are essential to scientific discoveries and advancements.
  9. Emperor of all Maladies: a Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee is a New York Times bestseller and the winner of the Pulitzer Prize describes what we have done to fight cancer from the first records of cancer from thousands of years ago to today.
  10. Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology by Valerie C. Scanlon and Tina Sanders provides easy to understand descriptions and diagrams to help make the content easier to learn and remember.
  11. Essential Cell Biology by Bruce Alberts, et al. is one of the best textbooks that presents excellent diagrams to enhance the written information, so that readers can better comprehend the inner workings of one of the best textbooks that presents excellent diagrams to enhance the written information, so that readers can better comprehend the inner workings of cells.
  12. How We Live and How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter Knife’s Edge are both by Sherwin B. Nuland, and they 
  13. Lady Doctor by Ian Williams, is another graphic novel that describes the interesting demands and relationships of Lois Prichards’s patients in humorous detail.
  14. Learning Medicine by Peter Richards was first published in 1983, but is still relevant today. It is an excellent source of essential knowledge for anyone considering a career in medicine.
  15. Life at the Extremes by Frances Ashcroft examines how people survive under intensely severe conditions.
  16. Logic of Life by Tim Harford attempts to connect the underlying economic motivations that control human behavior.
  17. Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks explores neurological disorders and provides insights into the working of the human mind.
  18. Microbe Hunters by Paul de Kruif provides a detailed history of microbes and vaccines.
  19. Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine by Dr James Le Fanu chronicles the major medical advancements and then considers why they have slowed down.​
  20. This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay takes a very funny look at his time as a junior doctor, and is now a comedy-drama limited series on BBC One.
  21. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi is an autobiography about a young neurosurgeon who is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer.
  22. Your Life in My Hands by Rachel Clarke describes her life or death experiences as a junior doctor, fresh out of medical school.
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