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Stephanie Cajigal
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Medscape Women's Health


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Readers' Picks: Best Summer Reading

Stephanie Cajigal  |  July 16, 2015

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Slide 1

What Other Docs Are Reading

We asked Medscape's readers to tell us which books they think their peers need to read this summer. See which ones made the list.

Image from Alamy

Slide 2

Everest - The First Ascent: How a Champion of Science Helped to Conquer the Mountain

by Harriet Tuckey

"Ms Tuckey disliked her father, the physiologist Griffith Pugh, very much indeed. He seems to have been pretty loathsome, an arrogant philanderer, but a brilliant physiologist, who cared not at all for the opinions of the vast majority of his colleagues. Tuckey realized that Pugh's massive contribution to the first ascent of Everest had been willfully concealed. This is a marvelous book, and anybody interested in survival outdoors, sports medicine, high-altitude travel, the cutthroat behavior of high-achieving scientists and sportsmen, and dysfunctional families will be riveted."

–Ian Calder, MBChB, FRCA, Retired anesthesiologist, London, United Kingdom

Image courtesy of Lyons Press

Slide 3

TED Talks

by Jacob Andrews

"The book is all about delivering talks that leave an impact and are memorable. The descriptions of techniques are clear and free of jargon. It's a useful adjunct to anyone making a presentation."

–Arthur N. Papas, MD, Private practice, adult psychiatry, Weston, Massachusetts

Image courtesy of CreateSpace

Slide 4

Healing the Soul: Unexpected Stories of Courage, Hope, and the Power of Mind

by Bhupendra O. Khatri, MD

"Dr Khatri has conveyed the humanity of our profession and stressed the importance of touch and compassion prevailing in the age of computers. I recommend it to every colleague and every patient."

–Brian Steingo, MD, MS, Center Director, Sunrise Medical Group, Sunrise, Florida

Image courtesy of HenschelHAUS

Slide 5

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands

by Eric Topol

"Dr Topol's book provides a cornucopia of 'hot off the griddle' medical 'newtech' developments. While his presentation of these developments is a bit breathless, knowing what's out there now, or just over the horizon, is solidly worthwhile. But the key point and fulcrum of Dr Topol's argument is that patients should and will eventually have open, unrestricted, and granularly detailed 'ome' information on themselves (genome, microbiome, whatever-ome), presumably resident in a secure 'cloud' or carried about on a rewritable flash drive. It's well worth the read, although from this reader's standpoint, all that 'ome' will make most folks hypochondriacs, just like the med school syndrome: Read about a disease, and your symptoms tell you you've got it."

–Myrna B. Tagayun, MD, Neurology, neurophysiology and neuropsychology private practice, Clifton, New Jersey

[Disclaimer: Eric Topol, MD, is editor-in-chief of Medscape. All reader picks, including Dr Tagayun's, were submitted independent of any input from the Medscape editorial staff.]

Image courtesy of Basic Books

Slide 6

Spirit Made Smaller

by Phillip Douglas

"Gharrett Graywood, an Alaskan public health physician, attempts to solve the challenging medical mystery that caused his 11-year-old child's debilitative disease. Dr Graywood and his associates explore how science is reduced by greed and pride into pseudoscience, and how its unintended consequences affect many current medical concepts and practices. The story explodes into a tremendously disturbing conclusion about human existence. An appendix conveniently details the biological plausibility behind the novel's gestalt-shifting conclusion for those readers who may desire such supporting evidence."

–Douglas Phillip, MD, MPH, Retired

Image courtesy of Book Publishers Network

Slide 7

The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England

by Dan Jones

"This book is not just about how Plantagenet kings and queens behaved; it also shows how their actions resulted in the civil reaction that prompted English citizens to insist on certain rights that monarchs cannot preempt. It is a real-life story full of heroes and villains, and does much to illuminate how the myth and legend of English kings persist to this day."

–Jay Ellis, MD, Tejas Anesthesia/River City Pain Management Division, San Antonio, Texas

Image courtesy of Penguin

Slide 8

In a Grain of Sand

by Douglas Ratner, MD

"This novel took me through the intern year of a young physician. It had humor, love, and mystery, and the author included medical cases from some of his own experiences as a physician. His perspective is what makes this book so enjoyable for other doctors to read."

–Allison I. Hoyle, DO, Internal Medicine Resident, PGY2

Image courtesy of CreateSpace

Slide 9

A Scientist in Wonderland: A Memoir of Searching for Truth and Finding Trouble

by Edzard Ernst

"Professor Ernst ruffled feathers whilst professor of medicine in Vienna by enquiring into the local medical history of the Nazi period. He believed that a move to Exeter in England to become professor of complementary medicine would provide a quieter life. He was wrong. His account of the methods he used to investigate subjects like homeopathy, chiropractic, and faith healing is fascinating. Unfortunately, his results did not please some very important people in the British Establishment and the drug industry, and his treatment will alarm all scientists."

–Ian Calder, MBChB, FRCA, Retired anesthesiologist, London, United Kingdom

Image courtesy of Imprint Academic

Slide 10

The Dressing Station: A Surgeon's Chronicle of War and Medicine

by Jonathan Kaplan

"As a South African surgeon, Kaplan's exploration of trauma took him to a bunker where the fighting was so intense above that 50 people defecated around him, and he did surgery ankle deep. Reading it changed the course of my career, and perhaps it will yours."

–Keith A. Raymond, MD, Doctors Without Borders, Austria

Image courtesy of Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

Slide 11

Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome
Lustrum: A Novel
Conspirata: A Novel of Ancient Rome

by Robert Harris

"If you like historical drama, you will be caught up in this trilogy of Rome in the days of Cicero and Pompeii. It is captivating and beautifully descriptive. The three books are synergistic and provided me with several hours of rapt attention. If you like to read about ancient societies and people living in the cradle of civilization, this trio is a marvelous read."

–Ray Sullivan, MD, Medical Director, Select Specialty Hospital, Moses Cone Hospital campus, Greensboro, North Carolina

Image courtesy of Arrow, Gallery Books

Slide 12

Zapocalypse: Pathogen

by Carol Lynski

"A fun beach read to add some chill to a hot summer day. Unlike most zombie books, it incorporates enough solid science to make the premise believable, so that the highly educated part of our brains is not squirming with 'No, that can't physiologically happen.'"

–Carolyn Eaton, MD, University Health System, San Antonio, Texas

Image courtesy of Dog Ear

Slide 13

Elizabeth Is Missing

by Emma Healey

"This is a wonderfully unusual book about dementia, in which the protagonist is a granny-turned-sleuth who gets to the bottom of a long-buried mystery. It is playful, funny, and moving—a far cry from most agonising books about memory loss, and all the more human for it. It is Healey's first novel and was inspired by her experiences of her own grandmother's dementia. It is easily demolished in one pleasurable sitting."

–Rosie Wellesley, MBBS, MRCP, MRCGP, General Practitioner, London, United Kingdom

Image courtesy of Harper Collins

Slide 14

Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story

by Daphne Sheldrick

"This is a deeply engaging memoir recounting a lifetime of relationships with some of Africa's most incredible animals who have been profoundly disrupted because of illegal poaching. Sheldrick shares this heartwarming perspective on life and love that we physicians sometimes lose sight of in our daily hustle and bustle."

–Steve Tu, DO, Ophthalmologist, Hartford, Connecticut

Image courtesy of Picador

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