10th January 2019
Preparing for A-Levels and Medical School interviews at the same time is often time-consuming, and finding time to read can be another challenge. However, being strategic in the books and topics you read up on can prepare you for interviews, by giving you an insight into what interviewers may ask you and allowing you to explore your areas of interest. Here are some books that can inspire you before your Med School interview…

Written by Kate Okello

‘Medical Ethics: A Very Short Introduction’ – Tony Hope

This book is short and concise – but there’s a lot of knowledge condensed into it! Tony Hope covers core issues like euthanasia, abortion, blood transfusions and political questions surrounding medical ethics – for example, should people pay to see a GP?

This book will enable you to build confidence whilst discussing medical issues (this will come in handy for your interview!).

‘Bad Science’ – Ben Goldacre

This is an insightful reflection on how the media and other internet health experts impact how we interact with healthcare and Medicine. It demonstrates how impressionable we are regarding the media, and how health anxiety (hypochondria) has been fuelled by the internet.

This is a good critical thinking and reflection tool when applied can be used to talk about medical ethics and your personal experience with healthcare, the internet/media and technology at interview.

‘The Other Side’ – Kate Granger

Kate Granger provides a sobering account of a young Doctor’s experience as a patient with a terminal illness.

This is an eye-opening book that is a must-read to understand the complexities of the patient experience and how the smallest of actions from Doctors can have such a huge impact, like holding a patient’s hand and sitting so they’re eye-level with the patient.


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‘Trust Me, I’m a (Junior) Doctor’ – Max Pemberton

This is lighthearted, jovial account by a new junior Doctor, highlighting the realities of the transition from Medical Student to F1 junior Doctor. It is informative and illustrates all of the positives of the new job, as well as the challenges – such as work-life balance, dealing with death, mental health and relationships.

This book is useful in demonstrating to interviewers you have a background understanding of some of the less appealing aspects of Medicine, and how you would potentially deal with them.

‘This Is Going To Hurt’ – Adam Kay

This is an honest, endearing and humorous account following the life of Adam Kay as a junior Doctor for six years. He uses satire and humour to highlight his not-so-pleasant experiences as an NHS Doctor, and how the demand on the NHS directly impacts its Doctors.

He also expresses his appreciation for the NHS, but how the experience of working for them eventually becomes too much for him. This is a good reflection tool that can be used to emphasise on the importance of good coping mechanisms as well as mental endurance and resilience as an NHS Doctor.

‘Gifted Hands’ – Ben Carson

This is a highly entertaining and inspiring autobiography following the life of a world-class paediatric neurosurgeon who grew up in poverty-stricken Detroit. Through the strong support system of his mother and his faith, manages to get a full scholarship to Yale and becomes Chief of Neurosurgery at John Hopkins.

He leads difficult surgeries, such as separating conjoined twins from their skulls and the book follows his journey through different challenges such as peer pressure, poverty and racial prejudice.

This book demonstrates the resilience needed to pursue a medical career and how fulfilling developing this resilience and overcoming these challenges can be.

‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat’ – Oliver Sack

This is a compelling read that covers a range of neurological disorders and the stories of patients’ personal experiences living with them.

We learn how people compensate for neurological deficits (such as memory loss) by creating their own reality and people who struggle to communicate with the world conventionally but find other ways – through art, music and poetry.

This book is informative and empathetic, individualising the life of each patient suffering from neurological disorders.


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