Pre-Health Reading List

by Christian S. Pham — last modified 2017-08-31T11:05:48-04:00

These recommendations come from Carol Bokros, Assistant Director of Pre-Health Professions Programs.  Her goal in assembling the list is to easily direct pre-health students to materials to help them better prepare for entrance exams, professional schools, and for careers in the health professions.  Of special note are titles recommended by Mercer faculty who responded to the question "what books do you wish your own doctors had read?"

The collection is divided according to the categories in the table of contents box to the right.

Clicking on links in the lists below will take you to the catalog where you can determine availability, view the summary and/or table of contents when available, and find a map of where items not shelved in the collection are available.  If the item you need is in another location, view this guide on locating and requesting items.  Links are provided for audiobooks that appear with the description [sound recording] and videos that appear with the description [videorecording]. 

DVDs

  • Awakenings
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1586453~S18
  • Being Mortal
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b2504144~S1
  • Discovery Channel Series Body Story
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819636~S18
  • The Doctor
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819644~S18
  • Doctors' Diaries
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1666152~S18
  • Escape Fire
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b2504142~S1
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1559243~S18
  • Patch Adams 
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819642~S18
  • Sick around America
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1897546~S1
  • Sick around the World
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b2504143~S1
  • Something the Lord Made
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819641~S18
  • Still Alice
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1915442~S1
  • The Waiting Room
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1898131~S1
  • Wit
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819637~S18

You can also search Kanopy Video Streaming to find other films on health (using subject Health) and Alexander Street Video using the discipline of Health Sciences:

Training for and Practice of the Health Professions

  • All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot, 1973
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1201512~S1
  • Art of Medicine in Metaphors:  A collection of poems and narratives edited by James Borton
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1836773~S1
  • Awakenings by Oliver Sacks, 1990
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1572557~S1
  • Complications:  A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1522430~S1
  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, 2009
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819628~S1
  • Doctor Stories by W. Carlos Williams, 1984
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819629~S1
  • Doctors: The Biography of Medicine by Sherwin Nuland, 1995
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819063~S1
  • Everything I Learned in Medical School by Sujay Kansagra, M.D.
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1897545~S1
  • Five Days at Memorial:  Life and Death in a Storm-ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink, 2013
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1840745~S1
  • Gentle Vengeance: An Account of the First Year at Harvard Medical School by Charles LeBaron, 1982.
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1821325~S1
  • Gifted Hands:  The Ben Carson  Story by Ben Carson, 1996
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1840760~S1
  • Gifted Hands:  The Ben Carson  Story by Ben Carson, 1996
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1840572~S1
  • God's Hotel:  A Doctor, A Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine by Victoria Sweet, 2012
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1818662~S1
  • Haiti after the Earthquake
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027060~S1
  • Healing of America:  A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T.R. Reid
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1618544~S1
  • House of God by Samuel Shem
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b2429375~S1
  • Human Side of Medicine: Learning What It's Like to be A Patient and What It's Like to be A Physician by Lawrence Savett, 2002
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819068~S1
  • I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out:  True Stories of Becoming a Nurse edited by Lee Gutkind
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1840374~S1
  • Illness As Narrative
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1786926~S1
  • Illness Narratives:  Suffering, Healing, and the Human Condition by Arthur Kleinman, 1989
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1821324~S1
  • Intern Blues: The Timeless Classic about the Making of a Doctor by Robert Marion, 2001.
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819016~S1
  • Learning to Play God: The Coming of Age of a Young Doctor by Robert Marion, 1991.
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819017~S1
  • Life after Medical School: Thirty-two Doctors Describe How They Shaped Their Medical Careers by Leonard Laster, 1996
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819064~S1
  • Longer Stories from the Last Decade
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1637845~S1
    Notes:  short story Ward Number Six included in this volume
  • Making of a Nurse by Tilda Shalof, 2008
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819018~S1
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1052834~S14
  • Medical School Coach:  Waking Your Inner Doctor
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1921050~S14
  • Mindful Medical Student by Jeremy Spiegel
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1836774~S1
  • My Own Country:  A Doctor's Story of a Town and Its People in the Age of Aids by Abraham Verghese, 1995
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819627~S1
  • Narrative Medicine:  Honoring the Stories of Illness
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819065~S1
    Note: Recommended by Dr. Anya Silver, Mercer University Department of English
  • A Not Entirely Benign Procedure:  Four Years as a Medical Student by Perri Klass, 1988.
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819620~S1
  • On Becoming a Doctor by Tania Heller
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1836775~S1
  • Reflections on Doctors:  Nurses' Stories about Physicians and Surgeons by Terry Ratner, 2008
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819626~S1
  • To Repair the World:  Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation by Paul Farmer, 2013
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1842953~S1
  • Something for the Pain:  Compassion and Burnout in the ER by Paul Austin, 2009
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819630~S1
  • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down:  A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1561073~S1
  • Stories of Illness and Healing:  Women Write Their Own Bodies by Sayantani DasGupta, 2007
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819066~S1
    Note:  Recommended by Dr. Anya Silver, Mercer University Department of English
  • True Confessions of a Veterinarian: An Unconditional Love Story by Gene Witiak, 2004
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819070~S1
  • Vetting:  The Making of a Veterinarian by Pete Freyburger, 2009.
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819621~S1
  • What Doctors Feel
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027084~S1
  • When Doctors Don't Listen by Leana Wen and Joshua Kosowsky, 2013
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1842954~S1
  • When the Phone Rings, My Bed Shakes:  Memoirs of a Deaf Doctor by Philip Zazove
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819071~S1
  • White Coat, White Cane: The Extraordinary Odyssey of a Blind Physician by David Asbell Hartman, 1979
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1821321~S1

Critical Thinking and Scientific Thought

  • Autism's False Prophets:  Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1638097~S14
  • Broca's Brain by Carl Sagan, 1980
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1027353~S1
  • Galileo's Revenge:  Junk Science in the Courtroom by Peter Huber, 1991
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819622~S1
  • How Science Works
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027061~S1
  • How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life by Thomas Gilovich, 1993
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819061~S1
  • Is That a Fact?:  A Field Guide to Statistical and Scientific Information by Mark Battersby, 2010
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819623~S1
  • On Being a Scientist:  A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819062~S1
  • Reliable Knowledge:  An Exploration of the Grounds for Belief in Science
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1196763~S1
  • Science and Human Values
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819624~S1
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1334998~S1
  • The Checklist Manifesto
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1633431~S1
  • Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michel Shermer, 2002
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819625~S1

The Patient's Perspective

  • Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy, 2003
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819072~S1
    Note: Recommended by Dr. Anya Silver, Mercer University Department of English
  • The Cancer Journals
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1488159~S1
    Note:  Recommended by Dr. Anya Silver, Mercer University Department of English
  • Cancer Made Me A Shallower Person:  A Memoir in Comics by Miriam Engelberg
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1840769~S1
  • Cancer Vixen:  A True Story
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1770676~S1
    Note: Recommended by Dr. Anya Silver, Mercer University Department of English
  • Darkness Visible:  A Memoir of Madness
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1122356~S1
  • The Diagnosis by Alan Lightman, 2000
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819076~S1
  • Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death by Jean-Dominique Bauby, 2007
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1821319~S1
    Note: Recommended by Dr. Anya Silver, Mercer University Department of English
  • The Fault in our Stars
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1783708~S1
  • Girl, Interrupted
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1307990~S1
  • I Watched You Disappear
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1882021~S14
  • Intoxicated by My Illness by Anatole Broyard, 1992
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819073~S1
  • It's Always Something by Gilda Radner, (20th anniversary edition), 2009
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819074~S1
  • A Leg to Stand On
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1574558~S1
  • My Stroke of Insight:  A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819633~S1
  • Over My Head: A Doctor's Own Story of Head Injury from the Inside Looking Out by Claudia L. Osborn, 2000
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819075~S1
  • Poetic Medicine
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1359813~S14
  • Poetry in Medicine
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1920109~S14
  • Still Alice
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027083~S1
  • What the Body Told
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1323375~S1
    Note:  Recommended by Dr. Anya Silver, Mercer University Department of English
  • Wit
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1451760~S1
    Note:  Recommended by Dr. Anya Silver, Mercer University Department of English
  • Wounded Storyteller by Arthur W. Frank, 2013
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819069~S1
    Note:  Recommended by Dr. Anya Silver, Mercer University Department of English

Historical Aspects of Disease

  • Disease: The Extraordinary Stories Behind History's Deadliest Killers by Mary Dobson
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819078~S1
  • The Emperor of All Maladies:  A Biography of Cancer
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1661329~S1
    Note:  Recommended by Dr. Anya Silver, Mercer University Department of English
  • The Gospel of Germs by Nancy Tomes
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b2429376~S1
  • The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1479832~S1
  • Living in the Shadow of Death:  Tuberculosis and the Social Experience of Illness in American History by Sheila Rothman, 1994
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1821322~S1
  • The Medical Messiahs; A Social History of Health Quackery in Twentieth-Century America
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1821585~S1
  • The Plague Makers:  How We Are Creating Catastrophic New Epidemics--And What We Must Do to Avert Them by Jeffrey Fister, 1994
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1821323~S1
  • Polio:  An American Story
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1509739~S1

Biographies and Autobiographies

  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1615972~S1
  • Black Man in a White Coat
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1919961~S1
  • Bonhoeffer:  Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy:  A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1662023~S1
  • Breaking Ground:  My Life in Medicine
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1879088~S1
  • Lives of Moral Leadership:  Mean and Women Who Have Made a Difference by Robert Coles, 2001
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819079~S1
  • Memoirs
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1009377~S1
  • No Such Thing as A Bad Day:  A Memoir
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1436903~S1
  • Out of My Life & Thought:  An Autobiography
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1223055~S1

Ethical Issues

  • Classic Works in Medical Ethics: Core Philosophical Readings by Gregory Pence, 1997
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819080~S1
  • Doctors' Dilemmas: Moral Conflict and Medical Care by Samuel Gorovitz, 1985
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819081~S1
  • Drawing the Line:  Life, Death, and Ethical Choices in an American Hospital
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1186420~S1
  • First, Do No Harm
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1268065~S1
  • Forgive and Remember: Managing Medical Failure (2nd ed.) by Charles Bosk, 2003
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1025487~S1
  • Illness as Metaphor; and AIDS as Metaphor by Susan Sontag, 1978
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1399645~S1
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1917279~S1
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (audiobook)
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1644242~S1
  • Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues by Paul Farmer, 2001
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819083~S1
  • Medical Ethics and the Faith Factor by Robert D. Orr
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1662015~S1
  • Professionalism in Health Care
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027062~S1
  • Professionalism in Medicine:  A Case-Based Guide for Medical Students Edited by John Spandorfer
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1900198~S1

History, Social Issues, Perspectives

  • Anatomy of Racial Inequality (W.E.B. DuBois Lectures) by Glenn Loury, 2003.
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819086~S1
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1559153~S1
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (audiobook)
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1624349~S1
  • Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness: Five Steps to Help Kids Create and Sustain Lifelong Joy by Edward M. Hallowel, 2003
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819087~S1
  • Collapse:  How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1493628~S1
  • Composing A Life
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1442789~S1
  • Descartes' Error:  Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1283426~S1
  • Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman, 2004
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819085~S1
  • Engineering of Consent by Edward Bernays, 1955
    Note:  unable to obtain a copy, still trying
  • Excellence, Can We be Equal and Excellent Too?
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1169656~S1
  • History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals (second edition) by Spiro Kostof, 1995
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819084~S1
  • In the Kingdom of the Sick:  A Social History of Chronic Illness in America by Laurie Edwards
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1837081~S1
  • Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine by Francis Collins, 2011
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819088~S1
  • Learning to Fall:  The Blessings of an Imperfect Life
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1449978~S1
  • The Moral Sense
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1243713~S1
  • The Places In Between
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1515398~S1
  • Race Matters
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1248175~S1
  • The Selfish Gene
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1192191~S1
  • Teacher:  The One Who Made the Difference
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1445215~S1
  • Under the Banner of Heaven:  A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer, 2003
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1819090~S1
  • Unequal Childhoods:  Class, Race, and Family Life
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1764596~S1
  • Unequal Treatment edited by Brian D. Smedley, Adrienne Y. Stith, and Alan R. Nelson
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1464731~S1
  • The White Nile
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1068782~S1
  • The World is Flat:  A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b1808280~S1

Planning for, Applying to, and Getting into Professional School

  • ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3026025~S1
  • Applicant's Guide to Physician Assistant School and Practice
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027063~S1
  • Caribbean Medical Schools:  A Journey and Guide
    https://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3042963~S1
  • Dental School Interview Guide
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027064~S1
  • Essays that Will Get You into Medical School
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027082~S1
  • Essays that Will Get You into Physician Assistant School
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027073~S1
  • Essays that Worked for Medical School
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027065~S1
  • Essential Advice for Pre-Meds
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027066~S1
  • Everything Practice Interview Book
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027070~S1
  • Get into Medical School:  A Strategic Approach
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027067~S1
  • Getting into Medical School:  the Premedical Student's Guidebook
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027068~S1
  • Getting into Physician Assistant School
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027069~S1
  • How to Ace Your Medical School Interviews
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027071~S1
  • How to Write the Perfect Personal Statement
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027079~S1
  • Medical School Essays that Made a Difference
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027074~S1
  • The Medical School Interview
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027072~S1
  • The Medical School Interview:  Secrets and a System for Success
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027078~S1
  • Official Guide to Medical School Admissions
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3026024~S1
  • Osteopathic Medical College Information Book
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3268237~S1
  • Perfect Phrases for Medical School Acceptance
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027076~S1
  • So You Want to be a Physician Assistant
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027075~S1
  • The Top 100 Health-Care Careers
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027081~S1
  • Ultimate Guide to the Physician Assistant Profession
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3027077~S1
  • Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements
    http://catalog.mercer.edu/record=b3268238~S1