Students pursuing medical studies often seek new resources to enhance their knowledge and stay motivated. From books to journals, and in recent times, various podcasts, the resources keep the students inspired and engaged. However, with countless options to choose from, finding the right resources can prove to be an overwhelming task. Given below are five books and five podcasts that are essential for every medical student.



This novel by Fredrik Backman is about the small town of Beartown consumed by the sport of hockey. Then the town’s star player is hit with a shocking accusation and this deeply impacts the economy and future of the town. The novel helps the readers understand the intricacies of such tragedies and their horrible ripple effects.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Written by Atul Gawande, M.D. & M.P.H., the book focuses on helping medical students learn to deal with the frailty of ageing and the inevitability of death. Reading this book is sure to help them better explore end-of-life goals and also empower their patients to make more fulfilling decisions towards the end of life.

The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care

This book by T.R. Reid, J.D., provides an overview of the manner in which different countries deal with issues related to the efficient delivery of health care and health insurance coverage. The book especially highlights the use of a combination of systems in the USA for diverse patient populations.

When Breath Becomes Air

The autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, M.D., is an emotional tale of his transformation into a new physician and young patient at the peak of his career as a neurosurgeon. The book questions the values and priorities of medical professionals through Kalanithi’s struggle to find the best way to live after being diagnosed with cancer.

My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story

Written as a memoir by Abraham Verghese, M.D., M.A.C.P. recounts his experience when the conservative rural region of the Appalachian city was hit by the  HIV/AIDS epidemic. Verghese, who was an internal medicine resident at the time, was amongst the first doctors to treat this stigmatized disease.


Anything involving Brené Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W.

The podcasts by Brené Brown discuss several issues faced by students through their years of studying medicine. She digs through research to unify human experiences and enable us to live and grow wholeheartedly. Whether you pursue B.Sc. Medical Laboratory Technology or a professional course in medicine, her podcasts are sure to awe and inspire you.

AFP Podcast

The podcast is hosted by Steven Brown, M.D, and director of Phoenix Family Medicine Residency program at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine.  The 30 min long program explores evidence from American Family Physician and often cover topics outside the standard realm of medicine.

The Nocturnists(

This podcast is a collection of stories from physicians in various fields and provides a narrative about how specific poignant experiences helped in shaping their careers. This is surely one impactful podcast that might give students of Bachelor of Optometry a new perspective about using your knowledge of medicine most effectively.

More Perfect(

Despite lacking the distinction of being an explicit health care podcast, it can actually help medical students gain a better understanding of various Supreme Court decisions that helped in shaping the laws of the USA. It also creates awareness about the history behind some of the most controversial decisions in the political system of the country.

The Curbsiders(

This clinically oriented podcast is quite popular especially among medical students having an upcoming test or away rotations. It provides information about the best utilization of time spent in exercising, driving or getting outside. It also helps residents to brush up on topics on their way to the clinic.