Highly recommended: The Best books to help you prepare for medical school and life as a Doctor – from a Graduate Medical Student

Hi Everyone, people always ask me what to use to prepare for medical school. So here are a list of books I used to prepare for my interviews when I applied for Medicine and Graduate Entry Medicine. My highly recommended books are:

When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi

Easily the most beautiful, soulful, heartwarming and heart-wrenching book about medicine and life as a doctor that I have ever read. That’s it, I don’t want to spoil it for you but all I want to say is read this book, whether you want to become a doctor or not, just read this book.

Dr Ben Carson

Yes I know, he is now affiliated with Trump, has been making terrible decisions in recent years etc, etc. I agree, but that truly does not change the fact that his books, changed my life. At the time, he was the first real Black Surgeon, I had personally ever heard of or seen, he had struggled through school just like me, and most importantly, was the first person to make me truly believe that I could become the great doctor of my dreams, just from his words and his story. He made me realise the importance of representation (even though he seems to have forgotten it himself now). So I still highly recommend these books, to anyone wanting to study medicine, and unsure of whether or not they can do it/have a lot of barriers to overcome. Sidenote, I was also able to flex in front of a neurosurgeon by explaining what a hemispherectomy is, and I learned about it in the book, 12 years ago,

Gifted Hands:

Think Big

Dr Oliver Sacks

All of Dr Oliver Sacks books, are timeless, fascinating, inspiring and motivating notes on the complexities of neurological disorders, and living with them. You will definitely learn a lot about neurology from reading these books (definitely enough to impress a neurologist, if you ever run into one) and if you are looking for something different and quite honestly mind-blowing, anything by Dr Oliver Sacks will do.

  1. The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales (My favourite)
  2. Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, Revised and Expanded Edition
  3. Everything in Its Place: First Loves and Last Tales
  4. Gratitude
  5. Hallucinations:
  6. Awakenings
  7. An Anthropologist On Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales
  8. Migraine
  9. Seeing Voices
  10. The Mind’s Eye

Dr Atul Gawande

Dr Atul Gawande is an American Surgeon and Public Health Professional, and I will always credit him as the first person to really bring to my attention the importance of Public Health and effective health systems, when it comes to population and Individual. In both developed and developing countries. He set me on the path to learn more and maybe he can do the same for you too.

  1. Being Mortal
  2. Complications
  3. Better

This is going to Hurt – Adam Kay

After Atul Gawande, you will definitely need the light, humorous, dark and sometimes terrifying account of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and life as a trainee doctor that Adam Kay provides. I really enjoyed this book, and while I read it when I had already gotten into medical school, I definitely think it provides a realistic and accurate account of life as a doctor, for anyone applying. Plus it will definitely make you laugh.

I hope you enjoyed the post, and if you want more resources on medicine, check out my website, http://www.medicalambitions.com

Peace and Love,


31 thoughts on “Highly recommended: The Best books to help you prepare for medical school and life as a Doctor – from a Graduate Medical Student

  1. CA

    This is a very timely post for those who wants to become part of the medical field. We have now realized just how important our Health Care Institutions are. I once dreamed of becoming a doctor before, but I was just 7. And when I turned 8, I wanted to become a lawyer. But I am none of those now. Haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. missmvmaria

    I love reading and is one of my favourite things that brings me joy. Speaking of medical education, I cannot even think of how complex must be these books.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Chantal Gray

    These are a great list of books. I love to read. The books that caught my eye was Awakening, Mind’s eye and Gifted hands. Awesome resource!!!!🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Louise Smith

    Being in the medical field is no easy feat – I’m sure these books would go a long way to helping people wanting to work in it 🙂

    Louise x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Elizabeth O

    I think it’s always a great idea to read widely so I look for books in other fields too. I’ve read Dr. Ben Carson’s books and recently read an excellent book by Dr. Larry Brilliant on the eradication of small pox which was a pandemic in the 40s-50s. It was truly fascinating and you might enjoy it too.

    Liked by 1 person

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