What’s on your reading list this holiday break?

December 27, 2018

We asked, you answered.

We recently asked our followers on Instagram: any good book recommendations this holiday break? Here were some of the top responses we heard were on your reading list.

1. Becoming Dr. Q: My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon by Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, MD

Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa, also known as Dr. Q, may be a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist today; but before that he was known as “Freddy”—a ‘nineteen-year-old undocumented migrant worker toiling in the tomato fields of central California’ (from Amazon). Looking for inspiration when classwork and training are feeling tough? Go on Dr. Q’s journey from impoverished childhood in Mexico to American citizen to Harvard Medical School in this gripping memoir.

2. What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine by Danielle Ofri, MD

Get in touch with the rollercoaster of emotions you feel as a physician-in-training with Dr. Danielle Ofri’s deep look into the lives of doctors. Dr. Ofri examines the range of ‘shame, anger, empathy, frustration, hope, pride, occasionally despair, and sometimes even love’ that doctors experience through health care delivery (from Amazon).

“This is where factors other than clinical competency come into play,” says Dr. Ofri, exploring how emotions ultimately impact health care. The New York Times review says the book’s hallmark is ‘her honesty,’ particularly when she analyzes her own medical mistakes.

3. Heart Matters: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon by Kathy Magliato, MD

Dr. Magliato’s memoir isn’t just for females, any future physician will benefit from her account of life behind the scenes in the operating room as a heart surgeon. And not only is Dr. Magliato a heart surgeon, she’s also specially trained to perform heart transplants.

Take a look into her ‘highly demanding, physically intense, male-dominated world’ (from Amazon) and see how she balances life as a surgeon, mother, and wife …you may just get some ideas on how to balance various areas of your life with a busy schedule!

4. Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh, CBE, FRCS

Dr. Marsh gives an ‘extraordinarily intimate, compassionate and sometimes frightening understanding of his vocation’ as a neurosurgeon practicing in Britain, according to The New York Times review of Do No Harm. He gives a raw depiction of the ‘dread and anxiety’ experienced before a complicated surgery, and the ‘complicated calculus of risk’ that comes with decision-making.

If you’ve already read Dr. Marsh’s first memoir, he has since published a follow up called Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery.

5. Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande, MD, MPH

Last on our list is Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Dr. Atul Gawande.

[blockquote author=”” link=”” target=”_blank”]So how do doctors, in this imperfect, occasionally messy and ultimately all-too-human endeavor called medical care, manage to do better?[/blockquote]

Dr. Atul Gawande poses this question in his book, as quoted by The New York TimesThough this book was published back in 2007, Dr. Gawande shares medical stories throughout his early career that walk us through both triumph and failures. You’ll learn from his experiences no matter what stage you’re in of your career. This level of self-reflection – or measuring performance along the way – is ‘one way to get to excellence,’ he says. Explore how to better yourself as a future physician with this book so you’re able to provide the best health care possible for your patients.

What else are you reading this holiday break? Share it in the comments below!