AdmissionsConsultants recommends breaking up your class and MCAT studies with occasional outside pursuits such as reads of the books reviewed below to keep yourself entertained, focused, and grounded. (And if these books help you form some valuable introspections for use in your applications, then all the better, right?)


For quick reference, here are links to related books we have reviewed:


Gifted Hands by Ben Carson and Cecil Murphy

An inspiring look inside the obstacles and challenges a world-renowned surgeon and former presidential candidate had to overcome. From the inner city of Detroit and the story of how his father left when he was a young boy, this is truly no fairy tale, but rather an extremely inspiring story. Dr. Carson’s prescription of faith, prayer, and hard work are certainly applicable to readers outside the medical profession as well. (For the record, we have been recommending this book since long before Dr. Carson ran for president and this book became a best seller!)

Kill as Few Patients as Possible by Oscar London

This book consists of short, light-hearted anecdotes and bits of advice on keeping your intellectual/technical edge as a physician while not losing your humanity.

First Do No Harm by Lisa Belkin

Gain an insider look into the inner workings of a hospital ethics committee and learn how consideration is given to the expenditure of limited resources for young patients based on considerations such as longevity and quality of life.

Every Patient Tells a Story: Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis by Lisa Sanders, M.D.

Do you want to know why the MCAT verbal reasoning is significantly harder than the verbal sections of the GMAT and GRE? It’s because doctors are expected to interpret what patients tell them and there is not always black and white in this realm. The author illustrates the importance of excellent communication skills in the medical profession. We highly recommend this book!

Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande

This book provides a very candid and delicate look inside the world of surgeons, warts and all. We strongly recommend this book for anyone considering medical school.

In Stitches by Anthony Youn, MD

From Dr. 90210 to CNN to the Rachael Ray Show, Dr. Anthony Youn is quickly becoming one of America’s best-known cosmetic surgeons. In this book, he gives a light-hearted look at his background from high school through securing his match at Grand Rapids Plastic Surgery.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

Not many books address end-of-life care. However, this practicing surgeon and Harvard Medical School professor absolutely hits it out of the proverbial park in this best seller.

House of God by Samuel Shem, M.D.

This book is both entertaining than motivating as it chronicles six new doctors who each graduated at the top of their medical school classes as they navigate their way through their year-long residency.

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