Newport Premedical Consulting, LLC

Newport's Book List for Premeds

To enhance your clinical experiences, conversations with physicians and volunteer work, you might want to browse through this list of books and pick a few to embrace in your time off.  It might just give you some food for thought as you sit down and write your personal statement or secondary essays. 


Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness, and Humanity by Ronald Epstein (2017)

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande (2017)

Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America's Most Storied Hospital by David Oshinsky (2017)

The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris, PhD (2017)

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh (2016)

Doing Harm: The Truth about How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick by Maya Dusenbery (2018)

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth, PhD (2016)

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach (2017)

The Heart Healers: The Misfits, Mavericks, and Rebels Who Created the Greatest Medical Breakthrough of Our Lives by James Forrester, MD (2016)

Heart: A History by Sandeep Jauhar (2018)

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore (2018)

RX: A Graphic Memoire by Rachel Lindsay (2018)

In Shock: My Journey from Death to Recovery and the Redemptive Power of Hope by Rana Awdish, MD, FCCP (2018)

Spirituality and Religion Within the Culture of Medicine: From Evidence to Practice by John R. Peteetan  and Michael J. Balboni (2017)

What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear by Danielle Ofri (2017) 

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (2016) Good Reads Choice Awards 2016, Amazon Best Book Award 2016,  THE NEW YORK TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER, THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER, SHORTLISTED FOR THE WELLCOME BOOK PRIZE 2017.

When Death Becomes Life: Notes from a Transplant Surgeon by Joshua D. Mezrich, MD (2019)


A Not Entirely Benign Procedure: Four Years As A Medical Student by Perri Klass (1994)

Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine by Damon Tweedy, MD (2015)

Blue Collar, Blue Scrubs: The Making of a Surgeon by Michael Collins (2010)

Body of Work: Meditations on Mortality from the Human Anatomy Lab by Christine Montross (2008)

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan (2013)

Doctoring: The Nature of Primary Care Medicine by Eric Cassell (2002)

The Doctor Stories by William Carlos Williams, MD (2012)

The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee (2011) Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Everything I Learned in Medical School: Besides All the Book by Sujay Kansagra (2011)

Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality by Pauline W. Chen (2008)

First, Do No Harm: The Dramatic Story of Real Doctors and Patients Making Impossible Choices at a Big-City Hospital by Lisa Belkin (1994)

Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story By Ben Carson (1996)

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth, PhD (2016)

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach (2017)

The Healthcare Handbook by Elisabeth Askin & Nathan Moore (Important for students preparing for Interviews).

Hot Lights, Cold Steel: Life, Death and Sleepless Nights in a Surgeon's First Years by Michael Collins (2006)

The House of God: The Classic Novel of Life and Death in an American Hospital by Samuel Shem (1994)

How We Die: Reflections of Life's Final Chapter by Sherwin B. Nuland (1995) National Book Award winner. 

The Human Side of Medicine: Learning What It’s Like to Be a Patient and What It’s Like to Be a Physician by Laurence Savett, MD (2002)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (2011)

In Stitches by Anthony You (2012) 

Intern: A Doctor's Initiation by Sandeep Jauhar (2009)

The Intern Blues: The Timeless Classic About the Making of a Doctor by Robert Marion (2001)

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans by Harriet Washington (2008) 

My Own Country: A Doctor's Story by Abraham Verghese (1995)

On Doctoring: New, Revised and Expanded Third Edition by John Sloan and Richard Reynolds (2010)

Racism, Health, and Post-Industrialism: A Theory of African-American Health by Clovis E. Semmes (1996)

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach (2004)

Strong at the Broken Places: Voices of Illness, a Chorus of Hope by Richard Cohen (2009)

The Tennis Partner by Abraham Verghese (1995)

This Won't Hurt a Bit: (And Other White Lies): My Education in Medicine and Motherhood by Michelle Au (2011)

This Side of Doctoring: Reflections from Women in Medicine by Chin, Eliza, ed. (2003)

What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine  by Danielle Ofri  (2014) 

White Coat: Becoming A Doctor At Harvard Medical School 1st Edition by Ellen Rothman (2002)


Being Mortal by Atul Gawande (2017)

Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande (2008)

Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande (Won National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction in 2002).

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande (2011)


The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness by Jerome Groopman (2005)

How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman (2008)

Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What Is Right for You by Jerome Groopman and Pamela Hartzband (2012)

The Measure of Our Days: A Spiritual Exploration of Illness by Jerome Groopman (1998)


Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs by Michael T. Osterholm and Mark Olshaker (2017)

Hot, Hungry Planet by Lisa Palmer (2017)

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder (2009)

Reimagining Global Health: An Introduction by Paul Farmer (2013)

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman (2012)

The Latino Patient: A Cultural Guide for Health Care Providers by Nilda Chong (2002) 

Caring for Patients from Different Cultures by Geri-Ann Galanti (2003)

Visit Global Health Now's Best Global Health Books of 2017 from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


The Official Guide to Medical School Admissions: How to Prepare for and Apply to Medical School (2016 Edition)

The Medical School Admissions Guide: A Harvard MD's Week-By-Week Admissions Handbook, 3rd Edition by Suzanna Miller (2014)

Essays That Will Get You into Medical School (Essays That Will Get You Into... Series) by Chris Dowhan, Dan Kaufman, Adrienne Dowhan (2014) 

The Healthcare Handbook by Elisabeth Askin & Nathan Moore (Important book to read in preparation for interviews.)


Read, Read, Read, 24+ Most Widely Read Journals in Healthcare

 Medscape's Best Books by Physicians

University of Minnesota Medical School Premed Reading List

Premedly Reading List 

Stanford Medicine "The book that made me go to medical school – and other good reads"

The AAMC Great Summer Reads for Aspiring Physicians

Popular Premed Books from GoodReads

For a more international perspective, The Guardian published an article called Five Books to Read Before Starting Medical School

Kenyon College created a great list of books on healthcare and and being a doctor. It was created by former Kenyon students.

AAMC Summer Reading List Volume 3. (Summer 2018)

AAMC Summer Reading List Volume 4 (Summer 2019)

This list has been created after researching multiple sources including university websites, blogs and comments all noted above. I would also like to thank Dr. Kathleen Kolberg from the University of Notre Dame for her extensive list of suggestions. If you would like to add any further comments or suggestions, please email us. 

* Newport Premedical Consulting, LLC does not recommend or endorse any particular book listed above. Books are listed as a point of resource for further exploration.