Book Recommendations for Physicians

May 29, 2013

Just what the doctor ordered! Check out these 10 suggested reads from your physician peers.

"The Horse and Buggy Doctor," written by general practitioner Arthur Hertzler and recommended by family physician Jennifer Frank, gives insight into patients in the 1900s. "My grandfather, a urologist, gave me this book when I graduated from medical school," says Frank. "The stories are told so well, with humor, insight, and compassion. The most striking thing about this book is how little patients have changed."

"William Osler: A Life in Medicine," written by medical historian Michael Bliss and recommended by one of Physicians Practice's Twitter followers, provides a glimpse into the life of 19th-century Canadian physician William Osler, one of the founding members of Johns Hopkins Hospital and author of "Principles and Practice of Medicine."

"The Four Agreements," written by don Miguel Ruiz and recommended by gynecologist Beth Harmon, provides a code of conduct to help readers live better, more fulfilling lives. "It's a great book on how to live and is great for your staff," says Harmon, noting that she requires all of her staff to read it. "It helps with communication and staff interactions."

"Genius on the Edge: The Bizarre Double Life of Dr. William Stewart Halsted," written by plastic surgeon Gerald Imber and recommended by one of Physicians Practice's Twitter followers, serves as a biography of eccentric and troubled 19th-century physician William Halsted, who is often referred to as the father of modern surgery.

"How to Like People Who Are Not Like You," written by Ed Chasteen and recommended by pediatrician Alan Grimes, provides readers advice on how to better understand people unlike themselves. "This book provides a thought-provoking discussion about the wonderful variability in the human race, and how we can all respect and work with that diversity instead of against it," says Grimes. "I've found it amazingly insightful in my interactions with others."

"The Dr. Thorndyke Mysteries," written by R. Austin Freeman and recommended by pediatrician Daniel Essin, are available in collections and individually. They feature the adventures of fictional British physician and gifted detective John Thorndyke.

"How Doctors Think," written by physician Jerome Groopman and recommended by one of Physician Practice's Twitter followers, examines the relationship between doctors and patients. It also examines how doctors can, with patients' help, communicate more effectively with patients and provide better care.

"The Power of Full Engagement," written by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz and recommended by Jennifer Frank, is a business book written to improve overall health and efficiency. "I have found it helpful in advising my 'type A' patients who are struggling with their own health," says Frank.

"Office Orthopedics for Primary Care," by Bruce Anderson and recommended by family physician David Johnson, provides how-to guidance for the management of 52 of the most common musculoskeletal disorders seen in today's clinical settings. "It is concise and easy to reference quickly," says Johnson. "It gives good illustrations and detailed instructions for exam and procedures."

"Purple Cow," written by Seth Godin, is centered on the idea of standing out in a world of metaphorical brown cows. "This is a book I commonly recommend to my patients and consulting clients," says family physician Craig Koniver. "While this book is mostly focused on business and work, I think many of the themes are remarkable andapplicable to everyday life."

Marisa Torrieri is an associate editor for Physicians Practice. She can be reached at marisa.torrieri@ubm.com.

Aubrey Westgate is an associate editor for Physicians Practice. She can be reached at aubrey.westgate@ubm.com.

This article originally appeared in the June 2013 issue of Physicians Practice.