Are you a medical professional looking for a new book to add to your collection? If so, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ve listed out some of the best books that every medical professional should read. This, of course, includes doctors, nurses, Respiratory Therapists, and pretty much anyone who works in healthcare that treats patients. 

Reading should be an important part of the lives of everyone — especially people who work in healthcare. It’s a great way to decompress and relieve stress, all while learning and growing in the process.

If you’re looking to grow as an individual and become a better healthcare worker, the following books are a great way to start. So if you’re ready, let’s go ahead and dive right in. 

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links which means, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Our Top Medical Book Recommendations for People Who Work in Healthcare:

Now that you’ve taken a look at the quick list of some of our favorite medical books, keep reading for more detailed reviews of each book.

Best Medical Books for Healthcare Professionals:

Although he died in March 2015 while writing this book, his word still lives on as a guide to us all — When Breath Becomes Air is one book you’ll want to read as a medical professional. This book details the life of a neurosurgeon and his battle against advanced lung cancer.

Dr. Kalanithi’s book answers the question, “what is the meaning of life if we’re all going to die” in the most meaningful way possible.

After wrestling between medicine and literature, Kalanithi gave in to the former but became diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer at the brink of a stellar trajectory. The book is a tale of tribulations and frank reflections — the tribulations happen in both Dr. Kalanithi’s outstanding career and refusal to give in to the illness which eventually took his life.

The first part of the book details and incredible account of the coming age of a neurosurgeon and writer. After talking about his upbringing as a child of Indian immigrant parents and passionate espousal of medicine and literature; he proceeds to talk about his relationship with his remarkable wife who’s also a doctor.

Kalanithi had a spectacular and multifaceted career, studying biology and literature at Stanford, then history and philosophy of medicine at Cambridge, and finally neurosurgery at Yale — a perfect example of resilience even in the face of insurmountable challenges. All in all, this book is a beautifully written and insightful book that shows how one life well lived can continue to create such a great impact in the life of others.

Next up is a book that explores the most challenging and important part of what doctors do — taking good care of people. Dr. Lisa Sanders gives us the chance to witness the process of providing solutions to a number diagnostic dilemmas and still emphasizes what it takes for a doctor to make the right diagnosis.

It teaches one how to think outside the box as well as how to look, listen and think. In this book, Lisa Sanders challenges the status quo with the aim to better the care doctors give their patients.

In this book, you’ll find enlightening case studies and lots of research studies that uncovers the things we ought to fix and address as healthcare providers.

The book explores a number of dramatic stories of patients with baffling symptoms while portraying the necessity and alarming difficulties of getting a patient’s story. It also sheds more light on the challenges of physical exams as well as dangers of diagnostic errors. 

Moreover, Every Patient Tells a Story is a great read for even people without medical training thanks to the author’s ability to explain complex problems in easy-to-understand language.

Next up is A Thousand Naked Strangers by Kevin Hazzard. This is a very entertaining and well-written piece about a failed salesman who decided to sign up for emergency medical services course at a local technical college.

Long story short, he passed National Registry Exam and got a job as an EMT and eventually got the additional training he needed to become a paramedic. In this book, Kevin Hazzard gives us a detailed story of the nine years he spent in Atlanta running calls to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of violent domestic disputes, horrific accidents and attempted suicides.

Just go ahead a grab a copy of this book now so that you can find out exactly what kept him going in this stressful, potentially dangerous, and sometimes thankless job. 

There’s no doubt that you’re going to love his energetic, colorful, and punchy writing style — a perfect book for readers who want to get a glimpse of what an EMT sees and feels when the worst occurs.

This beautifully written book by Paula Chen is a must-read for every surgeon. Final Exam: A Surgeon’s Reflection on Mortality sheds more light on the inevitability of mortality in the field of medicine.

Paula writes with passion and humility about the contradiction she sees in the field of mortality — she usually uses the word dysfunctional to describe the attitude of many doctors in the field of medicine.

For the most part, the book takes us on a journey into the sacred territory of the human body and challenges the profession’s failure to train physicians in the care of the dying. It’s a highly recommended pick for anyone training for the medical profession.

This should be required reading materials for every human — especially those who work in the medical field. In this book, Dale Carnegie offers quite a number of examples and insights that are sure to work great for anyone who works with other people.

Hint: That applies to us too as medical professionals as well.

It makes you look at what you’re doing in life and wonder how you can do better — it’s a great pick for business-minded people and also healthcare professionals as well.

In a nutshell, How to Win Friends and Influence People will teach you to consider the needs of others and how to use that to get what you need — it’s a great read that’s sure to change the course of your life in the medical field. 

As a medical professional, it’s highly recommended to add this book to your must-read list.

In fact, it should be on “required-reading” list of both doctors, patients, and medical field workers too. It’s pages are filled with a wealth of information can save physicians from lawsuits and patients from the wrong diagnosis which could lead to death and the like.

The book teaches that both the doctor and patients are live humans that require teamwork and proper communication to arrive at the right diagnosis.

Overall, How Doctors Think is a great book for anyone in the field of medicine just as it is for patients who value timeless information.

Next up on our list of best medical books is one titled God’s Hotel. This is yet another wonderful read from Dr. Victoria Sweet — It’s really great how she moved us through her story of becoming a better physician through pre-medicine.

Essentially, the book is more like a reaffirmation of the true principles of medical care. It spoke about Laguna Honda, a hospital that gave excellent care to patients despite limited resources.

She also described the humanity of the doctors, patients as well as the community of the open ward public hospital.

Although the old Laguna was the last of such institution, we can still learn many great lessons about simple, patient-centered care after reading through the page of this book.

Next up is another great book titled How We Die. I know, I know — the title sounds a little dark, but actually, the book is very beautifully written.

The author is a respected surgeon who sheds some light on the subject of death and its horrors. Dr. Nuland gives us a better picture of how each bodily systems fails as it approaches its terminus. It’s a must-read for anyone who has experienced life but finding it hard to understand the physiology that surrounds death.

In this book, you’ll get to learn about some diseases and understand what they do to the body — it’s sure to be an excellent pick for all medical personnel including new medical students, nursings students, and respiratory therapy graduates.

Last but definitely not the least is a book from Dr. Oscar London that dishes out inspiring words that’s sure to appeal to every true worker in the medical field. 

Kill as Few Patients as Possible details how he has survived the various practices of being an advocate for his patients. Every doctor needs to read this book.

You’ll learn several different revolutions like the one that says doctors aren’t perfect beings. Hint: This is a fact.

The book sheds more light on the mysterious world of office practice which is pretty different from the kind of perfect hospital you see on TV. All in all, this is a great read for medical professionals — especially doctors.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! You now have some amazing new medical books to add to your reading list. A few of these books are good for certain groups of medical professionals, but some should absolutely be required reading.

So no matter your profession — Respiratory Therapist, Doctor, or Nurse — surely you can find a new book to read from this list. In fact, I know you can.

Thank you for much for reading and as always, breathe easy my friend.

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