Book Recommendations

So I have to admit…I have a bit of a book buying addiction! 

Books were one of the first main things that drew me to medicine, they give such detailed, first-hand experiences from doctors in many specialties and I think they are one of the best ways to really understand a career in medicine. 

You get to understand the honest feelings of clinicians, including the positives of treating patients but also the challenges of the NHS and the role they have within such. Reading their accounts can give you a realistic understanding of what your career could be like if you followed in their footsteps, which can be hard to get from work experience or online research alone. 

As I reflect on my application journey, there definitely are a few books that stick out for me, so I thought I’d give some recommendations:


  • ‘A Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat’ by Oliver Sacks 


  • ‘The Knife’s Edge’ by Stephen Westaby

General Practice (GP)

  • ‘The Secret GP’ by Dr Max Skittle
  • ‘The Doctor Will See You Now’ by Amir Khan 

GP with special interest

  • ‘The Prison Doctor’ by Dr Amanda Brown
  • ‘The Prison Doctor: Women Inside’ by Dr Amanda Brown

Forensic Pathology

  • ‘Unnatural Cases’ by Dr Richard Shepherd

Life in medicine 

  • ‘Duty of Care’ by Dr Dominic Pimenta (insight the Covid-19 pandemic)
  • ‘Your Life In My Hands’ by Rachel Clarke (insight into the politics of medicine)
  • ‘Trust Me, I’m A (Junior) Doctor’ by Max Pemberton
  • ‘T’was The Night Shift Before Christmas’ by Adam Kay (some amazing anecdotes- from both the humorous and serious side of medicine)
  • ‘This Is Going To Hurt’ by Adam Kay

Anatomy and Physiology Related

  • ‘A Day In The Life’ by Dr Hilary Jones
  • ‘Adventures In The Human being’ by Gavin Francis
  • ‘The Incredible Unlikeliness Of Being’ by Alice Roberts (long with lots of medical jargon but worth a read and can be dipped in and out of easily)

Other medical professionals 

(helped with deciding my 5th UCAS choice, and good for knowing about other teams you will work alongside as a doctor)

  • ‘How To Treat People’ by Molly Case 
  • ‘The Language Of Kindness’ by Christie Watson 
  • ‘Hard Pushed’ by Leah Hazard
  • ‘Fighting For Your Life’ by Lysa Waider 

From the patients perspective

  • ‘I am I am I am’ by Maggie O’Farrell (heart wrenching but an important read to hear about the true difficulties some people face and which you may have to face as a doctor)
  • ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ by Paul Kalanithi (focuses on neurology but with a big personal touch as Kalanithi talks about how he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and how he got to see medicine from the perspective of both patient and doctor)

On my reading list 

  • ‘Shapeshifters’ by Gavin Francis 
  • ‘How Death Becomes Life’ by Mr Joshua Mezrich 
  • ‘Can you hear me’ by Jake Jones 
  • ‘Blood, Sweat and Tea’ by Tom Reynolds 
  • ‘Complications’ by Atul Gawande

Still looking for more recommendations?

Check out my Amazon wish list here – 

Where to buy these?

I’d say don’t worry about going out of your way to buy the copies of these! Libraries are amazing places for a quick reads and ‘The Works’ commonly sells cheap medical related books.

If you like writing notes in your books like me, I’d recommend getting your books from: 

Hannah x 🙂


Published by Dreams Of A Medic

2nd Year Medical Student at the University of Manchester!

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