Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that I
Books and Biographies
To help you understand what challenges to expect, take the time to read
biographies written by medical students and physicians. These first-hand
accounts will help you prepare for medical school, residency, and practice. Some
of the better ones that I have read are listed below.
An helpful book that outlines the admissions process, and contains information
on alternative programs. The
book is extremely detailed and contains 6 chapters on the
interview process alone.
A collection of 15 interviews with successful nontraditional applicants who
changed careers successfully got into medical school. The author is a
nontraditional student at Northwestern Medical School who worked in
pharmaceutical sales before attending medical school
A helpful source of information on the medical school application process.
It contains detailed information about U.S. and Canadian medical schools, tips
on how to develop your essay (with many samples to look at), and a
self-assessment section. It also contains a detailed overview of medicine in
the twenty-first century, which can help when it’s time to essays for your secondary
The most informative book I’ve read on how to prepare and apply to medical
school, and on what to expect once you are a doctor. More than any other source,
this book helped me to understand that the stress I was going through (joking
referred to as “pre-med syndrome” by the author) was not unique. It
also helped me to confirm that I truly wanted to practice medicine.
A good overview on how to prepare and apply to medical school. The book had some
interesting strategies on how and when to take medical school prerequisites, how
to maintain a good science G.P.A., which schools to apply to, and the needs of
special applicants (women, minorities, older students). Also included were
several sample AMCAS essays along with comments.
School Admission Requirements (MSAR), AAMC.
An annual publication of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
detailing the specific prerequisites of every U.S. medical school. If you can’t
afford it, see if you can borrow a copy from your premed advisor.
The book contains lists of U.S. medical schools grouped in useful and sometimes
humorous ways. It organizes schools by various academic and lifestyle choices
from which schools have the best research programs to the ratio of days of
sunshine to days of rain.
An overview of M.D. and D.O. programs, similar to MSAR along with helpful
information on the application process.
A humorous look at the struggles of medical school from someone who became a
mother during her preclinical years. The author had a more relaxed and maybe
even an undisciplined approach to school, which contrasted greatly with the
stereotype of the stressed out student who is obsessed with grades and
An honest and sometimes painful account of the third year of medical school from
the perspective of a non-traditional student. The author, whose original degree
was doctorate in anthropology, was critical of a medical education system that
he felt does not always focus on the human side of healing. The first half of
the book was great. The second half was a little preachy.
A chronicle spent with first-year medical students in the human anatomy lab. It
provides a humorous, compassionate, and insightful look at an essential right of
passage to becoming a physician.
A revealing illustration of the emotional and physical cost of medical school
from the eyes of a student. While the book was at times critical of the
education process, the author’s view was one of hope with constructive examples
on how to improve the way doctors are educated.
A helpful outline on what to expect during each year of medical school and
residency. This book gives a realistic perspective of what will be expected of
medical students and what is needed to survive the rigors required to become a
Similar to The Intern Blues, which the author wrote ten years earlier,
this book follows the lives of three interns in 1994 to see if education reforms
have served to increase the standard of patient care and improve the working
conditions of house officers. The book uses diary excerpts from these interns to
document how they dealt with tragedy, long hours, bureaucracy, and other
challenges of intern life. It also comments on New York’s Bell Commissions and
includes recommendations on how to reform the system of post-graduate training.
Written in the mid-1980’s, this book follows three doctors through their
internship. Each intern kept a diary throughout the year, excerpts of which were
included with commentary. While a little dated, the book provides dramatic
insight into the life of a house officer.
A compelling look into emergency rooms around the nation. Scores of emergency
department personnel share their most shocking, poignant, heartbreaking, and
hilarious moments working in the ER.
An interesting collection of short stories written by doctors in various
specialties about the trials and triumphs of their first year in practice. It
illustrates the compassion these young physicians feel for their patients. In
the midst of health care reforms and arguments that being a doctor is not as
rewarding as it used to be, this book will help to humanize the field of
Written by two osteopathic physicians, this book provides an overview into
osteopathic therapy. It explains that how adjusting physical imbalances
promotes self-healing. It is written for the layperson and introduces what to
expect during treatment and which conditions osteopathy can best relieve.
The book provides a balanced overview of osteopathic medicine, written by
someone outside the field. A detailed
history is given along with its philosophical background, theories underlying
the use of spinal manipulation, opposition from the orthodox medical community,
and growth up through the 1980’s.
The book contains easy-to-use techniques to help you improve your basic reading
skills and remember more of what you read. The book is geared toward geared
toward the high school or early college level, so it’s a great place to start if
you need a lot of help improving your reading comprehension.
The book outlines a program to increase reading speed and comprehension. It
includes drills and exercises, along with special techniques for reading
documents, textbooks and periodicals, and strategies for faster absorption of
The book is a guide to doubling or tripling your reading speed. It features eye
exercises to control and expand vision, drills for practicing pacing and block
reading, and strategies for mastering the two-stop reading method.