4th February 2020
In between attending classes, revision and getting on with your Medical School application, it’s important to make time for yourself. This is crucial so you don’t eventually feel burnt out. Medical Schools will be looking out for candidates who can demonstrate capabilities to balance workload and free time. You may choose to read medical-related books or listen to medical podcasts. Or, you may be a film enthusiast. In which case, keep on reading for some great film recommendations!

Words by: Premela Kala

Something the Lord Makes (2004)

This is a biographical film based on the incredible life of a black cardiac pioneer called Vivien Thomas. The film explores the sticky dynamics between Thomas and surgeon Alfred Blalock – as they introduce the field of modern heart surgery.  


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2017)

An underappreciated gem in the medical film world, this tells the true story of Henrietta Lacks. She was an African-American woman whose cancerous cells led to medical firsts and helped save the numerous lives of future patients. An ethical conundrum arises as her cells were harvested without her consent. 


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

A movie classic, this film follows a criminal admitted into a mental institution. Although not mentally ill, he believes the institute will be a better experience than a normal prison.  Here, he attempts to garner the support of other patients to rise against the abusive institution staff.


John Q. (2017)

How far would you go to save the life of a loved one? John Q’s son is in dire need of a life-saving transplant. However, medical insurance fails to cover the costs and there is no financial aid available. In a last-ditch attempt, John Q takes the hospital emergency room hostage. 


Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

After the sudden discovery that he has AIDs and 30 days to live, Ron Woodroof does not accept his fate easily. He hunts out alternative therapies and smuggles unapproved drugs into the United States. Alongside another AIDs patient, Woodroof begins selling treatment for those unable to wait for the medical establishment to come to their rescue. 


Contagion (2011)

After a business trip to Hong Kong, Beth Emhoff feels unwell and puts it down to jetlag. Two days later, she is dead. Not long after, many start to face similar symptoms. With an alarming of a lethal microbe spreading, a global pandemic breaks out.  


Awakenings (1990)

Set in the 60s, this film centres around a doctor’s amazing work with catatonic patients who he suspects of having an extreme form of Parkinson. He treats the patients with L-dope and gives them a new life. 


Patch Adams (1998)

This is a true story based on a man who decides he wants to become a doctor after dealing with depression in a mental hospital. However, he became disillusioned by the school clinical perspective on patient care. He decides to open up his medical clinic for those without insurance. He revaluates his approach after a huge tragedy occurs. 


The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

After suffering a life-changing stroke, Jean-Dominique Bauby suffers from locked-in syndrome which leaves him almost completely paralysed. He is only able to communicate by blinking an eye. He decides to dictate a memoir through the only means possible.  



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