The best medicine books 📚

Browse the best books on medicine as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of Bodies Politic: Disease, Death, and Doctors in Britain, 1650-1900

Bodies Politic: Disease, Death, and Doctors in Britain, 1650-1900

By Roy Porter

Why this book?

After I decided to include this old favourite of mine, I discovered to my great delight that Bodies Politic is about to be reissued in paperback. Roy Porter was the most prolific, fluent and insightful academic I have ever been privileged to know, and decades ago, his lectures inspired me to recognise how much fun historical research can be. In my own work, I have focused strongly on images – not only in textbooks, but also in journals, art galleries and albums. As Porter expertly discusses, studying caricatures is immensely enjoyable but also invaluable for uncovering concealed controversies, which provide…

From the list:

The best books on enlightenment science

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Letters to a Young Doctor

Letters to a Young Doctor

By Richard Selzer

Why this book?

Richard Selzer is perhaps my favorite surgeon-author. As a college student reading his beautiful—and sometimes ornate bordering on romantic—writing, I enjoyed having a glimpse into not only what a surgeon does but, more importantly, what a surgeon feels. Start by reading the first story in this collection, “Imelda,” about a young girl in Honduras with a cleft lip and palate. It gives me chills every time. If you think surgeons are unfeeling, read any of Selzer’s stories and think again. They are like love letters to the profession.

From the list:

The best books on medicine in the trenches

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Servant as Leader

The Servant as Leader

By Robert K. Greenleaf

Why this book?

If you’re anything like me, you think you know what Servant Leadership means. It’s intuitive, people gravitate towards the term. But until last year, I hadn’t actually read the book where the term “Servant Leadership” came from. It’s a short book, more of a pamphlet really, coming in at only 64 pages.  I guarantee there are angles you hadn’t considered. For example, what responsibility do followers have in servant leadership? According to Greenleaf, when you follow a bad leader, you are responsible for the proliferation of bad leadership because a) you are sending a signal that to others that they…

From the list:

The best business books that make you better without tasting like medicine

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education

The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education

By W. Edwards Deming

Why this book?

Deming’s work is classic. He understood how messed up the corporate world was getting way back in the 1960s. But we Americans wouldn’t listen, so he went and helped Japan, and most notably, Toyota. It’s fascinating to read his work that was way ahead of its time and notice the things we are just starting to implement today. It’s also a great prophecy of what’s to come.

From the list:

The best business books that make you better without tasting like medicine

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life

Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life

By Louise Aronson

Why this book?

Professor-physician-writer Louise Aronson’s Elderhood is a powerful study of aging in the United States. The book argues passionately and convincingly for the necessity of integrating medical science and care for individuals of all ages, and especially those closer to the end of life. This impressive volume moves seamlessly among memoir, critique, the history and current state of medicine and medical practice, literature, popular culture, anthropology, sociology, and philosophy, highlighting the importance of respecting and being inspired by individuals of all ages, as seeing old age as far more than bodily decline.
From the list:

The best books on aging and end-of-life decisions and care

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal

Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal

By Rachel Naomi Remen

Why this book?

Remen is a doctor and gifted storyteller. She shares insight into what truly heals, through these magical-yet-true vignettes. Spoiler alert: love and connection. Yes, there are times we desperately need modern medicine and other times when we desperately need our hands to be held.
From the list:

The best books for self care and motivation

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Or, view all 49 books about medicine

New book lists about medicine

All book lists about medicine

Bookshelves related to medicine

Browse books by…