by Emily Walters

Do you want to offer your patients better care, increase your own industry understanding, and improve your own understanding of your field? Reading books is one of the best, fastest and most enjoyable ways to up your game. It’s also a great way to pass commute times on public transportation, give your eyes a screen break, and keep up with the latest industry news. Check out these books healthcare professionals should read, and don’t forget to leave your own review to help others find the best books.

1. How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Gregor, MD and Gene Stone. The physician-founder of the site penned this book as a means of helping to prevent premature deaths through lifestyle changes. You’ll get tips from a fellow healthcare professional that are current and can be passed down to your patients.

2. Sugar Crush: How to Reduce Inflammation, Reverse Nerve Damage, and Reclaim Good Health by Richard Jacoby and Raquel Baldelomar. Sugar isn’t so sweet, and reducing it or ditching it altogether can be a useful tool in tackling some of the biggest complaints patients have.

3. The Buoy Projects: A Story of Breast Cancer, Bucket Lists, Life Lessons, Facebook and Love by Lorna J. Brunelle. This fun read is easy to empathize with and is a must for a healthcare professional working with women. Originally a real-life “drama” unfolding on Facebook, Brunelle was compelled to turn it into a book that’s impossible to put down.

4. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein. We could all use a little nudge in the right direction, and this book helps you influence positively over those you care for. From cafeterias nudging students towards better diets to changing the impulse purchase options in stores, discover the little nudges you’re always overlooking.

5. Crisis in U.S. Health Care: Corporate Power vs. The Common Good by John Geyman, MD. You already know we’re in the midst of healthcare crises and a myriad of epidemics. Find out more about how corporate power is playing a role and what you can do to rally behind those who are fighting it.

6. Undoctored: Why Health Care Has Failed You and How You Can Become Smarter Than Your Doctor by William Davis, MD. This is another book that your patients might be picking up, and it’s vital to know their perspective. Plus, it was written by an MD who offers a unique lens on the conundrum you’ll likely relate to.

7. Redefining Health Care: Creating Value-Based Competition on Results by Michael E. Porter and Elizabeth Olmsted Teisberg. Strategy expert Porter uncovers the overlooked and underlying causes of the U.S. healthcare system crisis.

8. Health Journeys: A Meditation to Help You with Healthful Sleep by Belleruth Naparstek. The National Sleep Foundation continuously warns Americans that they are sleep deprived, which leads to a host of health concerns. Find real answers to improving your sleep hygiene.

9. Revolutionary Medicine: The Founding Fathers and Mothers in Sickness and in Health by Jeanne Abrams. What was life like before modern medicine? From opioid addiction to death due to lack of antibiotics, destroying (or ending) one’s life could happen quickly, painfully, and with no warning. Contagion, diseases and epidemics don’t play favorites. Focusing on the life of early New American leaders like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, the founders had a one of a kind perspective on developing modern health.

10. Medicine: The Definitive Illustrated History by DK. Discover the incredible story of medicine from its ancient roots to cutting edge breakthroughs with the healing approaches, surgeries, and diagnoses methods detailed complete with all the “gory pitfalls.” Bloodletting, body snatching and trepanning were the base for IVF. Find out more in this illustrated reference.

11. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande. The bestselling author and MD discusses what he considers the toughest part of his job—using medicine to not just improve life, but also its ending process. What the surgeon calls his profession’s “Ultimate limitation” can actually be made better fast with a socially fulfilling model for the elderly and hospice care.

12. Medicine Men: Extreme Appalachian Doctoring by Carolyn Jourdan. Check out the Wall Street Journal bestseller, which includes a collection of the most memorable incidents old-school, rural physicians recall over the past 50 years in the Appalachians. You need wit, skill and a sense of humor to survive hear (and a belief in “ghost dogs” doesn’t hurt, either).

13. Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital by David Oshinsky. Go on a journey with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Oshinsky as he present New York’s famed public hospital in all its horror and glory. It’s where the most notorious of psychopaths, “lunatics” and “exotic-disease sufferers” often wind up. In 250 years, there wasn’t an epidemic that wasn’t tackled here, and it’s a non-stop thrill ride of a read.

14. Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness, and Humanity by Dr. Ronald Epstein. Medical- and non-medical professionals alike have fallen for this book on instilling mindfulness in the practice. Take a look at the intimate and groundbreaking work doctors who are putting compassion and patient-centered focus first have uncovered. Dr. Epstein’s book stems from his own clinical rotations during Harvard Medical School when he saw a seasoned surgeon not even notice when a patient’s kidney turned blue and what happens when being on autopilot takes over.

15. The Laws of Medicine: Field Notes from an Uncertain Science by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Called required reading for those in and outside of the medical field, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author uses his experience as a physician to discuss an “urgent philosophy” on the principles that oversee medicine and reveals how they can empower everyone

How many books can you complete in between seeing patients and tending to your own health? Remember that reading is a mental workout, so you’re already on the fast track to improving your well-being.


Emily is an experienced content writer. She has written about an array of topics, from business, healthcare, and technology to travel, culinary, education and even fashion & lifestyle. In her free time, Emily enjoys traveling, training for half marathons, and cooking for her family.