7 Moving Books About Medicine

Physician and author Matt McCarthy reflects on the seven medical books he returns to again and again.

medical books

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Medical books are hit-or-miss. The good ones affect me in ways that few things can, but many in the genre are hobbled by problems with tone or structure. (I review medical memoirs for USA Today and spend a lot of time thinking about how doctors convey their experiences). Here is a smattering of my favorite books about medicine—some fiction, some nonfiction—which are ones I just can’t forget.

Bookshelf curated by Matt McCarthy.

Author photo: © Nina Subin

Featured image: Ildar Galeev/Shutterstock


Matt McCarthy

MATT MCCARTHY is an assistant professor of medicine at Cornell and a staff physician at Weill Cornell Medical Center. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Slate, The New England Journal of Medicine, and Deadspin, where he writes the Medspin column. His first book, Odd Man Out, was a New York Times bestseller. His most recent book, The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician’s First Year, is available in paperback.

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