Read about famous doctors and scientists:
There are many books about being a doctor or being a patient. Many of them have been written by doctors. Examples appear below. There are also doctors who have written novels and poems that are not about medicine
For readers aged 10-12:
For readers aged 16 and up:
- Tracy Kidder: Mountains Beyond Mountains
A book about Paul Farmer, a doctor dedicated to care of the underserved.
- Max Lerner: Wrestling with the Angel
Personal experiences about overcoming illness- from the patient’s perspective
- Sinclair Lewis: Arrowsmith
A novel taking place in the early 20th century in which a young doctor struggles with many of the issues that are still present today in the field of medicine.
In 1926, Arrowsmith won the Pulitzer Prize
- Niriksha Malladi: So You Want to be a Doctor?
A “how-to” book about applying to medical school and about what life is
like as a medical student and resident. Chapter 3 is oriented especially
toward late high school and early college students.
These are each collections of Dr. Sach’s observations from a long career as a neurologist. You may also enjoy reading more about the author: Oliver Sachs or visit Oliver Sacks website
- Richard Selzer:
These are each collections of short stories written by Dr. Selzer with medical themes. The Doctor Stories is a collection of many of the same stories in the previous books with a few new ones. You may also enjoy reading more about the author: Richard Selzer
Samuel Shem: The Spirit of the Place
A novel about a doctor who moves back to his home town and learns about small town medical practice and treating the working poor.
- Lewis Thomas:
These are collections of observations from a long career as a scientist and academic physician. You may also enjoy reading more about this author: Lewis Thomas
- Audrey Young: What Patients Taught Me. A Medical Student’s Journey
Written by a UW medical student as she explores medical care in rural areas of the Pacific Northwest
Biographies of famous scientists and health professionals:
Schweitzer - the original medical humanitarian who built hospitals
and took care of those without access to medical care
Barton - founder of the American Red Cross
Nightingale - considered the founder of modern nursing
Curie - a scientist who worked with radioactive materials and was
instrumental in increasing the use of x-ray
Pasteur - recognized that disease was caused by “germs” and
developed a process to kill many of them- now known as pasteurization.
Reed - discovered that a certain kind of mosquito could cause
infections in people.