Being “premed” at Kenyon means more than just taking science classes and getting good grades. You want to be well read regarding issues in health care. Below is a list generated by previous Kenyon pre-health students. These are books they found helpful in becoming familiar with the lives that health care professionals lead.
Savett, Laurence. The Human Side of Medicine: Learning What It’s Like to be a Patient and What It’s Like to be a Physician. A primary care internist describes in detail the human, non-technical part of medicine and how it can be taught. For pre-meds, medical students, patients, and nurses and others who work with physicians and patients.
Kidder, Tracy. Mountains Beyond Mountains: Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World. For more than 20 years, Farmer has spent many months every year in central Haiti, often taking care of patients himself and continually improving the treatments offered by the clinic.
Remen, Rachel Naomi. Kitchen Table Wisdom. and My Grandfather’s Blessings. Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging. Using stories from her own practice, a physician who specializes in caring for patients with serious or chronic illness reflects on how she has used what she had learned from her experience in each new therapeutic relationship.
Scannell, Kate. Death of the Good Doctor. In a series of stories and essays, Dr. Scannell describes her experience on an in-patient AIDS ward and the many lessons she learned from her patients and their families.
Broyard, Anatole. Intoxicated by My Illness. The former editor of the New York Times Book Review section presents an account of his own illness and reflects on the physician-patient relationship.
Bursztajn, Harold; Feinbloom, Richard; Hamm, Robert; and Brodsky, Archie. Medical Choices, Medical Chances. How Patients, Families, and Physicians Can Cope with Uncertainty. The authors describe the importance of acknowledging uncertainty in medicine and strategies for dealing with it.
Coles, Robert. The Call of Stories. Dr. Coles, a psychiatrist, teaches Harvard undergraduates, medical and other graduate students about the lessons we can learn from listening to patients’—and each other’s—stories.
Colgrove, Melba; Bloomfield, Harold; and McWilliams, Peter. How to Survive the Loss of a Love. A physician, a psychologist and a poet present insights about loss for patients and for professionals and others involved in their care.
Fadiman, Anne. The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down. In presenting the story of the illness of a Hmong patient who has been inserted into the American medical culture, the author describes the consequences of the cultural clash for her and her family’s care.
Verghese, Abraham. My Own Country. A physician specializing in infectious diseases writes of his experience in caring for patients with AIDS in rural Tennessee and its impact on his personal life. (Author spoke at Kenyon).
Vertosick Jr, Frank. When the air hits your brain: Tales from Neurosurgery.
• Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient, Norman Cousins
• Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health, Laurie Garrett
• Blindsided: Lifting a Life Above Illness, Richard Cohen
• Caring for Patients from Different Cultures: Case Studies from American Hospitals, Geri-Ann Galanti
• Complications A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science, Atul Gawande
• Classic Cases in Medical Ethics: Accounts of Cases that Have Shaped Medical Ethics with Philosophical, Legal, and Historical Background, Gregory E. Pence
• Critical Condition: How Health Care in America Became Big Business and Bad Medicine, Donald L. Bartlett and James B. Steele
• Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, William Styron
• Deadly Dust: Silicosis and the Politics of Occupational Disease in Twentieth Century America, Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner
• Demanding Medical Excellence: Doctors and Accountability in the Information Age, Michael Millenson
• Drinking: A Love Story, Caroline Knapp
• Every Patient Tells a Story: Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis, Lisa Sanders
• Final Exam: A Surgeon’s Reflection on Mortality, Pauline Chen
• Goldberger's War: The Life and Work of a Public Health Crusader, Alan Kraut
• How Doctors Think, Jerome Groopman
• Joycelyn Elders, MD: From Sharecropper's Daughter to Surgeon General of the USA, Joycelyn Elders
• Life after Medical School: Doctors Describe How They Shaped Their Medical Careers, Leonard Laster
• Lucky Man: A Memoir, Michael J. Fox
• Medical Marriages, Glen O. Gabbard and Roy W. Menninger, eds.
• Middlemarch, George Eliot
• Nursing Against the Odds, Suzanne Gordon
• On Call in Hell: A Doctor's Iraq War Story, Cdr. Richard Jadick and Thomas Hayden
• On Doctoring: Stories, Poems, Essays, Richard Reynolds and John Stone, eds.
• Patient by Patient, Emily Transue
• The Call of Service, Robert Coles
• The Doctor Stories, William Carlos Williams
• The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream, Rameck Hunt, Sampson Davis, George Jenkins and Lisa Frazier Page
• The Scalpel and the Silver Bear, Lori Arviso Alvold and Elizabeth Cohen Van Pelt
• The Social Transformation of American Medicine, Paul Starr
• Voices of Integrative Medicine, Bonnie Horrigan, ed.