It’s World Book Day today, where we celebrate the wonderful written word, and discuss our favorite pieces of literature. Children everywhere dress up as their favorite book characters, encouraging more reading in the young and in adults. We wanted to celebrate World Book Day this year by presenting you with some of our choices of books in the healthcare world. At Isabel we’re passionate about improving diagnosis, healthcare and technology, patient and doctor relationships, and the wellbeing of doctors. Our ‘reading list’ reflects this mission, and we hope you’ll consider reading some or all of our selection this World Book Day.
There’s a high chance you’ve heard this book being talked about, particularly if you’re in the UK, as this book is winning awards and topping charts left, right and centre. Written by Adam Kay, this book is mainly comprized of diary entries of the author, spanning the six years he worked for the NHS. There are a lot of humorous stories, which are entertaining for both patient and doctors alike, as well as a more serious message of the emotional strain being a doctor can have upon your own health, and the ways in which we handle stress and burnout in today’s climate. Adam Kay gave up being a doctor after a traumatic event, when he realised it was taking too much of a toll on his wellbeing, and he discusses the measures he feels should be in place to allow doctors to do the best job they can.
Paul Kalanithi was finishing his residency in neurosurgery when he was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic lung cancer. This posthumously published book is a poignant account of a doctor coming to terms with his own mortality, and all that taught him as a doctor himself. It’s a must read, not only for helping the reader to deal with mortality and terminal illness, but also to help doctors gain insight into the mind of those with life-threatening or life-changing diagnoses, and explore the links, as Kalanithi does, between doctor and patient.
This is a brilliant read for those interested in technology within healthcare. Robert Wachter published this book in 2015, and although technology does move on at an incredible rate, this book is still relevant with its core message: "We need to recognize that computers in healthcare don’t simply replace my doctor’s scrawl with Helvetica 12.” writes Dr Wachter, ”Instead, they transform the work, the people who do it, and their relationships with each other and with patients. . . . Sure, we should have thought of this sooner. But it’s not too late to get it right.”
Eric Topol is a renowned cardiologist and medical researcher, having published books previously on the topics of digital health and the democratization of healthcare. He discusses and campaigns for many of the issues close to our hearts here at Isabel, so we’re excited to see the publication of his latest book, which is out on March 12th 2019. This much anticipated instalment from Topol discusses how AI and health can go hand in hand, helping to fix the problems we currently experience with doctor-patient relationships, and allow doctors to connect with their patients and excel at their jobs.
Another book looking at mortality, a subject that the human race seem equally fascinated by and terrified to discuss. Atul Gawande, who has published several books and articles on healthcare and medicine over the years, wrote this title to explore and research end of life care and the ways in which we care for the elderly. He asks some tough questions and visits nurses, carers and homes that are changing the way we think about end of life, and it’s certainly a thought provoking read.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve read any of these already, or do come back and tell us what you think once you have.