Some of my favorite medical books:
"Becoming Dr. Q" by Alfredo Quiones-Hinojosa, MD
Today he is known as Dr. Q, an internationally renowned neurosurgeon and neuroscientist who leads cutting-edge research to cure brain cancer. But not too long ago, he was Freddy, a nineteen-year-old undocumented migrant worker toiling in the tomato fields of central California. In this gripping memoir, Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa tells his amazing life story--from his impoverished childhood in the tiny village of Palaco, Mexico, to his harrowing border crossing and his transformation from illegal immigrant to American citizen and gifted student at the University of California at Berkeley and at Harvard Medical School. Packed with adventure and adversity--including a few terrifying brushes with death--Becoming Dr. Q is a testament to persistence, hard work, the power of hope and imagination, and the pursuit of excellence. It's also a story about the importance of family, of mentors, and of giving people a chance."The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca SklootHer name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, this book captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences."Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President " by Candice MillardThe sad story about the lack of asepsis, not a bullet, that caused the death of a great American president."Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio" by Peg KehretA riveting story of a young girl's fight against polio.
Fiction:"Toxin" by Robin CookAfter reading this book you will NEVER want to eat a fast food hamburger again. A sad story about the ravages of E.Coli in the meatindustry. Note to English teachers: This book would be an excellent companion to a study on Upton Sinclair's book "The Jungle""My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi PicoultA story of 13-year-old Anna, who litigates her parents for medical emancipation when she is expected to donate a kidney to her sister Kate, who is dying from leukemia. Much better than the movie! Check out the surprize ending.
"Year of Wonders" by Geraldine BrooksAn excellent book if you want to learn more about the effects of the plague in England during the 1600's."A Fierce Radiance" by Lauren BelferAn interesting fiction about the development of penicillin during WWII."Fever" by Mary Beth Keane
Fever casts a brilliant light over the life of a figure once described as 'the most dangerous woman in America'. Mary Mallon, an Irish immigrant in turn-of-the-century New York, is headstrong and brave, a woman who has battled fiercely to better her lot in life and keep her wayward lover Alfred on the straight and narrow. She works her way up the ranks to cook for the wealthiest families in Manhattan, but leaves a trail of death and disease in her wake. When she is imprisoned in complete isolation, despite being perfectly healthy herself, she refuses to understand her paradoxical situation. Condemned by press and public alike, she is branded a murderer, but continues to fight for her freedom. Mary Beth Keane's fictional account is as fiercely compelling as Typhoid Mary herself and Keane presents us with a very cleverly wrought conundrum: was Mary Mallon a selfish monster, or was she a hounded innocent?