Staff Picks

2017 Medical Memoirs: Real-Life Drama

Truth is stranger than fiction.

So wrote Lord Byron nearly two centuries ago in the poem Don Juan, reportedly the first recorded use of that saying.

You don't need to tell that to the medical doctors--specialists--who authored the following nonfiction.

They already know.

Whether or not you work in healthcare, this list of titles is definitively worth exploring. 

Fascinating stories, not to mention introspection on the part of these doctor/authors into their own place in the medical profession. 

To find even more medical autobiographies published before this year, contact the fourth-floor adult Reference desk: (847)376-2841/ or BROWSE HERE.

If you've never read a medical memoir, what are you waiting for?


Admissions: life as a brain surgeon

by Henry Marsh

Entertainingly candid autobiography about neurosurgeon Henry Marsh's adventures--and insights--with respect to trying to alleviate suffering in poverty-stricken lands.

Healing children

Healing children:  a surgeon's stories from the frontiers of pediatric medicine

by Kurt Newman

A glimpse into the multifaceted joys and challenges inherent in caring for brave kids in a children's hospital. Newman also examines what the future holds for pediatrics.

Hundreds of interlaced fingers

Hundreds of interlaced fingers:  a kidney doctor's search for the perfect match

by Vanessa Grubbs

Touching love story about how the personal and professional can intertwine. Primary care doctor Grubbs's donation of a kidney leads her to a new career as a kidney specialist.

Life on the ground floor

Life on the ground floor:  letters from the edge of emergency medicine

by James Maskalyk

Explores the face of emergency medicine during humanitarian work in many global locales. Additionally, Maskalyk is an activist and a member of Médicine Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders.

Medical catastrophe

Medical catastrophe:  confessions of an anesthesiologist

by Ronald W. Dworkin

Sometimes unnecessary death results from medical error. However other times the cause is politics. What does this bode for the future of the medical profession? Dworkin provides an unvarnished look.

Open heart

Open heart:  a cardiac surgeon's stories of life and death on the operating table

by Stephen Westaby

As Westaby can attest, heart surgeries are not formulaic nor commonplace; and they never will be. The responsibility of dealing with each unique heart demands not only skill but humanity.

Sometimes amazing things happen

Sometimes amazing things happen:  heartbreak and hope on the Bellevue Hospital psychiatric prison ward

by Elizabeth Ford

Ford found her specialty during a psychiatry rotation. New York City jail inmates -- one of the most vulnerable groups among the mentally ill -- changed Ford's life, making her both a better doctor and person.

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