Medicine, Nursing, and Other Health Fields

Articles and information about medicine, nursing, pharmacology, and other health fields, as well as JH medical libraries and institutions.

Pre-health at Hopkins

This office's health professionals provide advising for anyone planning a career in a health field, as well as information about volunteer and medical experience opportunities, and more.

Pre-Professional Advising can be reached during normal business hours (Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.).

  • 410-516-4140
  • Students may also feel free to contact pre-professional advisors directly via email

Pre-professional Programs & Advising
Shriver 30
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218-2683
Phone: 410-516-4140
Fax: 410-516-4040



JHU has several outstanding health-related student groups.
  • The JUMP (Johns Hopkins Underrepresented in Medical Professions) program offers a newsletter and other resources. ["Underrepresented" is defined as minorities, low-income, first-generation students, students with disabilities, populations under-represented in various disciplines, and/or GLBTQ students enrolled at JHU.]

Recommended Resources -- By Topic (Lists are alphabetical by title)

These essays, columns, books, videos, and readings include stories by and about health practitioners, from their years as students, interns, residents, and practicing doctors and nurses.
  • Patients speak out as well; please honor them by learning from their experiences. 
  • Don’t avoid a book just because it’s older -- not too long ago, health professionals had to be able to diagnose without depending on a lot of instrumentation. Read about how they developed the instincts to do that; you'll need this skill every day of your professional life.

(The Office of Pre-professional Programs & Advising thanks Sue Vazakas, MA, MLS, PhD, from the Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins, who consolidated and updated several universities’ lists of recommended resources to create this one.)

Anatomy of Hope, The: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness (2004) [book]
Jerome Groopman

Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside (2006) [book]
Katrina Firlik

Being a Woman Surgeon (2015) [book]
Preeti John

Being mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (2014) [book]
Atul Gawande  [Here are other books by Gawande]

Black Man in a White Coat: a Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine (2015) [book]
Damon Tweedy

Breaking Ground: My Life in Medicine (2014) [ebook]
Louis Sullivan (former Secretary of Dept. of Health and Human Services)

Checklist Manifesto, The: How To Get Things Right (2010) [book]
Atul Gawande

Complications : A Surgeon's Notes On An Imperfect Science (2002) [book]
Atul Gawande

Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between (2011) [book]
Theresa Brown
BorrowDirect or ILL

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery (2015) [book]
Henry Marsh
This film is a 2008 dramatization of one of the events described in the book, and stars Dr. Marsh himself.

Empathy and the Practice of Medicine: Beyond Pills and the Scalpel (1993) [book]
Howard Spiro, et al.

Every Patient Tells a Story: Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis (2009) [book]
Lisa Sanders (technical advisor for the TV show House)

Final Exam: a Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality (2007) [book]
Pauline Chen

Healing Hearts: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon (2010) [book]
Kathy E. Magliato
BorrowDirect or ILL

Health Professional and Patient Interaction (2014, 8th ed.) [book]
Ruth B. Purtilo and Amy Haddad

Helping Doctors Connect with Patients through Art (2019) [short JHU article]
Greg Rienzi

How Doctors Think (2007) [book]
Jerome Groopman

I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse (2013) [print and ebook]
Lee Gutkind

In the Kingdom of the Sick: a Social History of Chronic Illness in America (2013) [book]
Laurie Edwards

Incidental Findings: Lessons from My Patients in the Art of Medicine (2005) [book]
Danielle Ofri

Language of Kindness, The
Christie Watson
BorrowDirect or ILL

Making Sense of Medicine: Bridging the Gap Between Doctor Guidelines and Patient Preferences (2016) [book]
Zackary Berger (JHU doctor)

Nurse’s Story, A (2005) [book]
Tilda Shalof
BorrowDirect or ILL

On Call: a Doctor’s Days and Nights in Residency (2004) [book]
Emily Transue

Patient Care and Professionalism (2014) [book]
Catherine DeAngelis

Scalpel and the Silver Bear (1999) [book]
Lori Arviso Alvord (the first female Navajo surgeon)

Snowball in a Blizzard: a Physician's Notes on Uncertainty in Medicine (2016) [book]
Stephen Hatch

Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, The: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures (1997) [book]
Anne Fadiman

What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine (2013) [book]
Danielle Ofri

After Harm: Medical Error and the Ethics of Forgiveness (2005) [book]
Nancy Berlinger

Bad Blood: the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (1993) [book]
James Jones

Bioethics and biopolitics in Israel : socio-legal, political and empirical analysis (2018) [ebook]
Hagai Boas et al., eds.

Contemporary Controversies in Catholic Bioethics (2017) [ebook]
Jason Ebert, ed.

Contemporary Issues in Bioethics (2014, 8th ed.) [textbook]
Tom Beauchamp et al.

Engaging Bioethics: an Introduction with Case Studies (2017) [ebook]
Gary Seay

Essential Readings in Medicine and Religion (2017) [book]
G. Ferngren and E. Lomperis

Ethical Considerations of Experimental Interventions in the Ebola Outbreak (2014) [article]
Annette Rid and Ezekiel Emanuel

Letting Go (2010) [article]
Atul Gawande

Medical Ethics: Accounts Of Ground-breaking Cases (2015) [book]
Gregory E. Pence

New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) [short articles about medical ethics]

Nursing Ethics: Concepts, Trends, and Practices (2013) [ebook]
Nisha Clement

Offering Truth: One Ethical Approach To the Uninformed Cancer Patient (1993) [article]
Benjamin Freedman

Religious Perspectives on Bioethics and Human Rights (2017) [ebook]
Joseph Tamm et al., eds.

Tough Decisions: Cases in Medical Ethics, 2nd ed. (2001) [book]
John M. Freeman

Tracks We Leave, The: Ethics & Management Dilemmas in Healthcare (2014) [book]
Frankie Perry

Treating the Body in Medicine and Religion : Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Perspectives (2018) [ebook]
John Fitzgerald

Why Doctors Should Read Fiction (2018) [magazine article]
Sam Kean

Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (2017) [review article]
P. Hamet and J. Tremblay

Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Healthcare (2012) [print and e-book]
Eric Topol

Here Is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal Genomics (2010) [book]
Misha Angristt
BorrowDirect or ILL

Language of Life, The: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine (2010) [book]
Dr. Francis Collins (director of the National Institutes of Health [NIH])

Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won't Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care (2012) [book]
Marty Makary (co-developer of “checklist” in Gawunde’s 2010 book)


Chiropractic In America: The History of a Medical Alternative (1993) [book]
Stuart Moore

Doctors: the Biography of Medicine (1988) [book]
Sherwin B. Nuland

Doctors in the Movies: Boil the Water and Just Say Aah (2000) [book]
Peter Dans (doctor at Johns Hopkins Hospital)

Emperor of All Maladies: a Biography of Cancer (2010) [print and ebook]
Siddhartha Mukherjee
Here is streaming video of the PBS series (2015).

Flexible Bodies: Tracking Immunity in American Culture from the Days of Polio to the Age of AIDS (1994) [book]
Emily Martin

Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (1990) [book]
Ben Carson (former JHU pediatric neurosurgeon)

Goldberger’s War: the Life and Work of a Public Health Crusader (2003) [book]
Alan Kraut

Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010) [book]
Rebecca Skloot

Joycelyn Elders, M.D., From Sharecropper's Daughter to Surgeon General of the USA (1996) [book]
Joycelyn Elders

Living In The Shadow Of Death: Tuberculosis and the Social Experience of Illness in American History (1994) [book]
Sheila Rothman

Medical Apartheid: the Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present (2006) [book]
Harriet Washington

Medical Messiahs, A Social History Of Health Quackery In Twentieth-Century America (1992; expanded from 1967) [book]
Harvey Young

Morehouse Mystique, The: Becoming a Doctor at the Nation's Newest African American Medical School (2012) [book]
Marybeth Gasman

Mountains Beyond Mountains: One Doctor's Quest to Heal the World (2003) [print and ebook]
Tracy Kidder

Time To Heal: American Medical Education from the Turn of the Century to the Era of Managed Care (1999) [print and ebook]
Kenneth Ludmerer

Two Hundred Years of Surgery (2012) [online article]
Atul Gawande

County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago's Public Hospital (2012) [e-book]
David Ansell

First, Do No Harm: the Dramatic Story of Real Doctors and Patients Making Impossible Choices at a Big-City Hospital (1993) [book]
Lisa Belkin

Hopkins 24/7 (ABC News, 2000) [documentary] -- "Groundbreaking six-part... series filmed at Johns Hopkins Hospital... over a three-month period. The series graphically depicts modern medicine as practiced at the hospital... Each broadcast consists of a series of interwoven stories featuring staff and patients, their triumphs, tragedies and everyday routines."

Hopkins: inside one of America's top hospitals (2008)[documentary] -- This sequel to "Hopkins 24/7" focuses on young physicians in training at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

A Hospital Never Sleeps (1952) - Originally broadcast in 1952, this is a film documenting what the Johns Hopkins Hospital ER was like.

House, M.D. -- Season One (2004-2005) [DVD's]
(We also have Season 3, Season 5, and Season 6)
See also Dr. Lisa Sanders' book; she was the technical advisor to this series.

Nurses (2002) [documentary] -- This 5-part Discovery Channel series was filmed at JH Medical Center. 

Something for the Pain: Compassion and Burnout in the ER (2009) [book]
Paul Austin
BorrowDirect or ILL

Something the Lord Made (HBO, 2004) -- Filmed at Hopkins, this is the dramatic true story of Dr. Alfred Blalock (Alan Rickman) and African-American lab technician Vivien Thomas (Mos Def), who developed a procedure for performing heart surgery on "blue babies" in the 1940s.

Taking Care Of Our Own: A Year In The Life Of A Small Hospital (1994) [book]
Susan Garrett

Autobiography of a Face (2003) [book]
Lucy Grealy

Blindsided: Lifting a Life Above Illness: A Reluctant Memoir (2005) [book]
Richard Cohen (the husband of TV news correspondent Meredith Viera)

Darkness Visible: A Memoir Of Madness (1992) [print and e-book, but hard to read online]
William Styron (author of Sophie’s Choice)

Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The: A Memoir of Life in Death (1997) [book]
Le scaphandre et le papillon (2008) [film; English or English subtitles]
Jean-Dominique Bauby

Drinking, A Love Story (1996) [book]
Caroline Knapp

Girl Interrupted (1993) [print and ebook]
Susanna Kaysen
Here is the 1999 film [DVD]

Inspired to Change: Improving Patient Care One Story at a Time (2014) [book]
Linda R. Larin, ed.

Living with Cancer: Curses and Blessings (New York Times, July 16, 2015) [article]
Susan Gubar

Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (1985) [book]
Oliver Sacks (neurologist)
(Here are more books by Oliver Sacks)

My Year Off: Rediscovering Life After A Stroke (1998) [book]
Robert McCrum
BorrowDirect or ILL

Noonday Demon, The: an Atlas of Depression (2001) [book]
Andrew Solomon

On Being a Doctor (1995) [stories, poems, essays from Annals of Internal Medicine]
Michael A. Lacombe, ed.

On Being A Doctor 2: Voices of Physicians and Patients (1999) [stories, poems, essays from Annals of Internal Medicine]
Michael A. Lacombe, ed.

Tuesdays with Morrie (1997) [book]
Mitch Albom

Unintended Journey, An: A Caregiver’s Guide to Dementia (2013) [book]
Janet Shagam
BorrowDirect or ILL

Death of the Good Doctor: Lessons from the Heart of the AIDS Epidemic (1999) [book]
Kate Scannell

“How Long Have I Got Left?” (New York Times, January 24, 2014) [article]
Paul Kalinithi; New York Times

In pain : a bioethicist's personal struggle with opioids (2019) [book]
Travis Rieder, PhD (JHU bioethicist)

Taste Of My Own Medicine, A: When The Doctor Is The Patient (1988) [book]
Edward Rosenbaum
The film entitled "The Doctor" was based on this book. [VHS]

Unquiet Mind, An (1995) [print and e-book, but hard to read online]
Kay Redfield Jamison (JHU psychiatrist)

When Breath Becomes Air (2015) [book]
Paul Kalinithi

Cancer Journals (1980) [print and ebook]
Audre Lorde (writer who is Caribbean-American and lesbian)

Illness As Metaphor; and AIDS and Its Metaphors (1979 and 1990) [essays]
Susan Sontag

JAMA’s Narrative Medicine Articles -- Most of these are their columns called “A Piece of My Mind” [short articles/editorials]

Landscape With Human Figure (2002) [poetry]
Rafael Campo (physicians who is Hispanic-American and gay)

Let Me Listen To Your Heart: Writings by Medical Students (2002) [stories, poems, essays]
David S. Svahn, ed.
BorrowDirect or ILL

Life in Medicine, A: a Literary Anthology (2011) [ebook -- stories, poems, essays]
Robert Coles et al.

On Wings Of Spirit (2002) [poems from JAMA. The poets are physicians, nurses, patients, technicians, lay caregivers, and family members.] [last revised January 2015]
John Graham-Pole & Chuck Joy, eds. 
BorrowDirect or ILL