Looking for reading material in all the wrong places? Feeling like you’d like to read something other than a textbook? (don’t we all…)  These books will refresh your soul and offer a few new perspectives in patient care. The two nonfiction books and two fiction books profiled below offer a balance of fact and fantasy.


1. David and Goliath – Malcolm Gladwell 

What if our greatest disadvantages could actually give way to our greatest skills? In this book about the strength of the underdog, Gladwell reveals how some advantages turn out to be not so advantageous after all.  In one chapter, Gladwell profiles the extreme chances taken by a pioneer child leukemia researcher in the 1950s.

When to read it: The short chapters can fit into breaks or over the weekend.


2. Play at Work – Adam L. Penenberg

In this book about games and play, a doctor utilizes the mechanics of simulations to better instruct surgeons and doctors. It’s fun to see this unusual take on health education at work, and this book will revitalize your take on teamwork.

When to read it: Perfect for before-bed rumination. Inspiring.




1. Cutting for Stone – Abraham Verghese

A set of twins are abandoned by their father, raised by two physicians in Ethiopia, and have a wild life ever after. Amidst the conflict and chaos of the protagonists’ lives, the book makes a brilliant case for having empathy towards patients.

When to read it: Over vacation or over the weekend.



See also
Inclusion, Part 1: Your Role in an Inclusive Work Environment

2. 1Q84  – Haruki Murakami

This strange, fantastic book takes place in 1984 Japan… or does it? Shortly after a mysterious portal is opened, the main characters fall into an alternate universe, 1Q84. In the last half of the book, one character visits a rural Japanese fishing town where spirited nurses take care of his aging father. In this cat-and-mouse mystery novel where nothing can be trusted, the nurses act as healing forces amongst the chaos.

When to read it: Anytime that’s not at night! This book is a spooky one. 

Marc Laughton
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