Many of these publications are available in the HPA library in Thompson Hall 203 or through Collins Memorial Library.

On Admissions and Applications

Premed Prep: Advice from a Medical School Admissions Dean
By Sunny Nakae, Rutgers University Press, 2020. ISBN 9781978817227

Medical School Admissions: The Insider's Guide
By J.A. Zebala and D.B. Jones, revised S.B. Jones. Mustang Publishing Co., Memphis, TN, 1992. ISBN 0-914457-49-7

The Education of Physician Scholars: Preparing for Leadership in the Health Care System
Edited by H.M. Schwartz, D.L. Gottheil, published by Betz Publishing Co., Rockville, MD, 800.634.4365

270 Ways to Put Your Talent to Work in the Health Field
National Health Council, 1998

General Reading

My Patients and Other Animals: A Veterinarian's Stories of Love, Loss, and Hope
Suzy Fincham-Gray, Random House, 2018. A moving memoir of a life spent in the company of animals—a veterinarian sheds light on the universal experience of loving, healing, and losing our beloved pets, and the many ways they change our lives. 

Living and Dying in Brick City: Stories from the Front Lines of an Inner-City E.R.
Sampson Davis, Random House, 2014. In this book, Dr. Sampson Davis looks at the healthcare crisis in the inner city from a rare perspective: as a doctor who works on the front line of emergency medical care in the community where he grew up, and as a member of that community who has faced the same challenges as the people he treats every day. He also offers invaluable practical advice for those living in such communities, where conditions like asthma, heart disease, stroke, obesity, and AIDS are disproportionately endemic.

Between Expectations: Lessons from a Pediatric Residency
Meghan Weir, 2014. Dr. Weir takes readers into the nurseries, ICUs, and inpatient rooms of one of the country’s busiest hospitals for children. With candor and humility, she explores the many humbling lessons that all residents must learn: that restraint is sometimes the right treatment option, no matter how much you want to act; that some patients, even young teenagers, aren’t interested in listening to the good advice that will make their lives easier; that parents ultimately know their own children far better than their doctors ever will.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca Skloot, Crown, 2011. Her name was Henrietta Lacks (HeLa), a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her enslaved ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine: The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, which are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. The story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. 

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present
Harriet A. Washington, Anchor, 2008. The first full history of Black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment. Medical Apartheid provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused Black Americans to view researchers—and indeed the whole medical establishment—with such deep distrust.

The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World
Michael Marmot, Bloomsbury Press, 2015. Marmot underscores that we have the tools and resources materially to improve levels of health for individuals and societies around the world, and that to not do so would be a form of injustice. Citing powerful examples and startling statistics, The Health Gap presents compelling evidence for a radical change in the way we think about health and indeed society, and inspires us to address the societal imbalances in power, money, and resources that work against health equity.

Bush Doctors
Annabelle Brayley, Michael Joseph Australia, 2017. Sixteen stories of amazing Australian outback doctors and their heroic deeds. 

The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine.
Janice P. Nimura, W.W. Norton & Company, 2021. In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman in America to receive an M.D. She was soon joined in her iconic achievement by her younger sister, Emily. Together, the Blackwells founded the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children, the first hospital staffed entirely by women. 

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History
John M. Barry, 2005. At the height of World War I, history’s most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease.

Superior: The Return of Race Science
Angela Saini, Beacon Press, 2020. Superior tells the disturbing story of the persistent thread of belief in biological racial differences in the world of science. As our understanding of complex traits like intelligence, and the effects of environmental and cultural influences on human beings, from the molecular level on up, grows, the hope of finding simple genetic differences between “races”—to explain differing rates of disease, to explain poverty or test scores, or to justify cultural assumptions—stubbornly persists.

The Political Determinants of Health
Daniel E. Dawes, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020. Dawes argues that political determinants of health create the social drivers―including poor environmental conditions, inadequate transportation, unsafe neighborhoods, and lack of healthy food options―that affect all other dynamics of health. By understanding these determinants, their origins, and their impact on the equitable distribution of opportunities and resources, we will be better equipped to develop and implement actionable solutions to close the health gap.

Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation
Linda Villarosa, Doubleday, 2022. Villarosa lays bare the forces in the American health-care system and in American society that cause Black people to “live sicker and die quicker” compared to their white counterparts. Today's medical texts and instruments still carry fallacious slavery-era assumptions that Black bodies are fundamentally different from white bodies. Study after study of medical settings show worse treatment and outcomes for Black patients. Anchored by unforgettable human stories and offering incontrovertible proof, Under the Skin is dramatic, tragic, and necessary reading.

Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient: Reflections on Healing & Regeneration
Norman Cousins, Open Row Media, 2016. When Cousins was hospitalized with a debilitating collagen illness, he decided to take his health into his own hands. Cousins and his doctor combated the disease together by creating a regimen of laughter and vitamin C specifically calibrated to his needs. Against all odds, the treatment worked, proving to Cousins that a positive attitude was key to his improvement. In this humorous and insightful account, Cousins analyzes his own journey in relation to holistic medicine and discusses the astounding power of mind over body. 

Women in White Coats
Olivia Campbell, Park Row, 2021. In the early 1800s, women were dying in large numbers from treatable diseases because they avoided receiving medical care. Motivated by personal loss and frustration over inadequate medical care, Elizabeth Blackwell, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Sophia Jex-Blake fought for a woman's place in the male-dominated medical field. Women in White Coats tells the complete history of these three pioneering women who, despite countless obstacles, earned medical degrees and paved the way for other women to do the same. Though very different in personality and circumstance, together these women built women-run hospitals and teaching colleges--creating for the first time medical care for women by women.

The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness
Meghan O'Rourke, Riverhead, 2022. A silent epidemic of chronic illnesses afflicts tens of millions of Americans: these are diseases that are poorly understood, frequently marginalized, and can go undiagnosed and unrecognized altogether. O'Rourke delivers an illuminating investigation into this elusive category of "invisible" illness that encompasses autoimmune diseases, post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, and now long COVID. 

Mountains Beyond Mountains
Tracy Kidder, Random House, 2003. Kidder shows how one person can make a difference in solving global health problems through a clear-eyed understanding of the interaction of politics, wealth, social systems, and disease. 

What Matters in Medicine: Lessons From a Life in Primary Care
David Loxtercamp, University of Michigan Press, 2018. Looks at the past, present, and future of general practice, which is not only the predecessor to the modern primary care movement, but its foundation. Through memoir and conversation, Dr. David Loxterkamp reflects on the heroes and role models who drew him to family medicine and on his many years in family practice in a rural Maine community. 

Raising the Dead: Organ Transplant, Ethics & Society
Ronald Munson, Oxford University Press, 2004. Ronald Munson offers a vivid, often wrenchingly dramatic account of how transplants are performed, how we decide who receives them, and how we engage the entire range of tough issues that arise because of them.

The Social Transformation of American Medicine
Paul Starr, Basic Books, 1982. A classic on the history of health care in the US.

A Whole New Life
Reynolds Price, Atheneum, 1994. Award winning author and Duke professor describes his battle with cancer of the spine. A patient's perspective on health and health care delivery in a premier teaching hospital (Duke).

Tomorrow's Doctors: The Path to Successful Practice in the 1990s
Benjamin H. Natelson, Plenum Press, 1990.

A Not Entirely Benign Procedure
Perri Klass, Penguin Books, 1994. A collection of essays written by a young woman while she was in medical school at Harvard; previously published in Discover magazine in the "Vital Signs" column.

Becoming a Doctor
Melvin Konner, Penguin Books, 1987. One medical student's account of his third year of clinical training. Dr. Konner's perspective is unusual because he had already earned a Ph.D. and published a book in the field of anthropology before entering medical school.

My Own Country
Abraham Verghese, Simon and Schuster, 1994. A doctor's story of a small Tennessee town and its people in the age of AIDS.

The Youngest Science: Notes of a Medicine Watcher
Lewis Thomas, Penguin Books, 1983. A second generation physician and former Director of the Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute, the author describes the basis for the changes in medicine that have occurred from the time when his father made house calls, but had little to offer in the way of cure or effective therapy.

On Doctoring. Stories, Poems, Essays
Edited by Richard Reynolds and John Stone, Simon and Schuster, 1991. A collection of literary works written by or about physicians that attempts to "capture...the human splendor of medicine."

White Coat: Becoming a Doctor at Harvard Medical School
Ellen Rothman, William Morrow Paperbacks, 2000. Dr. Rothman offers a vivid account of her four years at Harvard Medical School and opens the infamously closed door between patient and doctor. Touching on today's most important medical issues -- such as HMOs, AIDS, and assisted suicide -- the author navigates her way through despair, exhilaration, and a lot of exhaustion in Harvard's classrooms and Boston's hospitals to earn the indisputable title to which we entrust our lives.

Health Against Wealth
George Anders, Harvest, 1998. If you have ever sought pre-approval for a necessary medical treatment, or have had problems arranging appointments with a specialist, or have seen a personal-care physician transferred to a distant clinic, George Anders's book on the growth of health maintenance organizations (HMOs) will confirm your worst fears. A reporter for theWall Street Journal, Anders provides a series of horrifying case studies: a six-month-old baby who loses his hands and feet after a 42-mile journey to an HMO-approved emergency room; residents of a small town in Tennessee afflicted with an outbreak of a painful bowel infection who find that the drugs needed to suppress the epidemic are not covered; HMOs that select hospitals with low success rates for heart-bypass operations because of cost factors. Anders presents a powerful indictment of the emerging managed-care model for our national health-care system in this disturbing book.

Periodicals and Journals


As communities emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, pre-health students are encouraged to reference the following articles (published during the pandemic) to enhance their understanding of this specific public health crisis, and how that knowledge will inform their work as a future healthcare provider: