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ALiEM Book Club Page 2017-07-26T06:08:20+00:00

ALiEM Book Club

This Book Club series led by Dr. Nikita Joshi (@NJoshi8) and Dr. Jordana Haber (@JoJoHaber), introduces you to books that are pertinent to medical practice and the culture of medical education. Discussion will be held every other month. The goal is to share books, both nonfiction and fiction, medical and not, that can deepen our clinical practice and commitment to delivering great medical education to learners. Whether you are a physician, nurse, paramedic, or allied health care provider, we would love for you to join in on the discussion on this blog.

Coming up in July

And The Band Played On: Politics, People, and The AIDS Epidemic

by Randy Shilts

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ALiEM Beyond the ED Series

The ALiEM Beyond the ED Series headed by Dr. Taku Taira (@TakuTaira) is meant to be a way to share books that leaders within the medical community love and treasure without having the usual bookclub discussion associated with it. These books are sure to challenge and enrich the reader.


There are so many great books out there and not enough time to get to them. Please let us know if you come across any book that you feel would be worthwhile reading as a part of our book club!

Previous books

Date Book Author Book Discussion and Commentary
November 20, 2016 Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All David and Tom Kelley Blog Link
October 16, 2016 On the Move: A Life Oliver Sacks Blog Link
August 14, 2016 A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back Kevin Hazzard Blog Link
June 10, 2016 The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age Robert Wachter Blog Link
May 13, 2016 Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead Sheryl Sandberg Blog Link
April 8, 2016 When Breath Becomes Air Paul Kalanithi Blog Link
March 12, 2016 Steal Like An Artist Austin Kleon Blog Link
February 12, 2016 Bouncebacks! Emergency Department Cases: ED Returns Michael B. Weinstock, Ryan Longstreth, Gregory L. Henry Blog Link
January 15, 2016 Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster
Svetlana Alexievich Blog Link
January 8, 2016 A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies: Stories John Murray Blog Link
November 17, 2015 Let Me Heal: The Opportunity to Preserve Excellence in American Medicine
Kenneth Ludmerer Blog Link
October 9, 2015 Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic
Sam Quinones Blog Link
August 14, 2015 The White Coat Investor: A Doctor’s Guide To Personal Finance And Investing
James M. Dahle Blog Link
July 10, 2015 The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Michelle Alexander Blog Link
June 12, 2015 How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking Jordan Ellenberg Blog Link
May 8, 2015 We Need to Talk About Kevin Lionel Shriver Blog Link
April 10, 2015 The Art of Choosing Sheena Iyengar Blog Link
March 21, 2015 Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End Atul Gawande Blog Link
February 13, 2015 The Emperor of all Maladies Siddhartha Mukherjee Blog Link
January 16, 2015 Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness Susannah Cahalan Blog Link
December 12, 2014 Risk Savvy: How to Make Good Decisions Gerd Gigerenzer Blog Link
November 21, 2014 Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling Edgar Schein Blog Link
October 10, 2014 When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests Leana Wen and Joshua Kosowsky Blog Link
September 19, 2014 A History of Present Illness: Stories Louise Aronson Blog Link
July 11, 2014 David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants Malcolm Gladwell Blog Link
May 12, 2014 How We Die Sherwin Nuland Blog Link
March 14, 2014 What Doctors Feel Danielle Ofri Blog Link
February 14, 2014 Drive Daniel Pink Blog Link
January 10, 2014 One Room School House Salman Khan Blog Link
December 13, 2013 Five Days at Memorial Sheri Fink Blog Link
Google Hangout on Air
November 8, 2013 Interpreter of Maladies – A short story “Temporary Matter”
Jhumpa Lahiri Blog Link
Podcast Wrap Up
October 11, 2013 The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work Shawn Achor Blog Link
Google Hangout on Air video
September 13, 2012 House of God Samuel Shem Blog Link
August 9, 2013 The Checklist Manifesto Atul Gawande Blog Link
Curated Commentary
July 19, 2013 Difficult Conversations
D Stone, B Patton, S Heen Blog Link
June 28, 2013 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot Blog Link

Past Book Club Leadership

Dr. Teresa Chan (@TChanMD)
Dr. Brent Thoma (@Brent_Thoma)

* Disclaimer: We have no affiliations financial or otherwise with the authors, the books, hyperlinks, videos or Amazon.

  • Joe Lex

    Strongly recommend any of Abraham Verghese’s excellent books: “In My Own Country,” “The Tennis Partner,” and especially “Cutting for Stone,” which I both read and listened to.

    • TChanMD

      Thanks for the recommendations Dr. Lex! We will look into these as possible ALiEM book club books – are there specific things you found most interesting about these books?

  • Joe Lex

    First two nonfiction accounts emphasizing the humanity of being a doctor. Third is an epic fiction full of wonderful medical vignettes. Verghese, for whom English is not a first language, is a marvelous craftsman with words; some of his sentences leave you shaking your head in amazement.

  • Jordan, MD
    • njoshi8

      Thank you Jordan! I believe Dr. Jordana Haber will be covering the book in late winter/early spring.

  • David Levy

    I’d highly recommend the book “Forgive and Remember: Mananging Medical Failure by Charles Bosk. I had him speak at a SAEM conference circa 1998 and was excellent (the back story is we lost his slides) and did without visual aides and was still first rate)

    • Michelle

      Thanks for the recommendation David. We’ll look into it!

  • Marlena

    Recommendation: Will Schwalbe “The End of your Life Book Club.” Haven’t finished it yet but I find it very thought provoking on how we as MD’s talk (and listen) to our patients about the elephant in the room, and about facing mortality in general.

    • njoshi8

      Thanks Marlena! We will definitely include this in our new suggestions area and look forward to discussing this in the near future, hopefully you will be able to join in!

  • Chad Roach

    I would like to recommend the recent “Make it stick” a book on how to maximize retention and performance by a group of cognitive neuroscientists as well as 2nd the recommendation for the classic by Bosk.

    • That sounds great Chad, would you be interested in doing this with us?

  • Joe Niemczura

    I will humbly submit my own book for consideration. The Sacrament of the Goddess is a novel set in Nepal. Okay, so the plot is fiction but – the medical details are non-fiction. log, Here is the Amazon link.

    • Hi Joe! Thank you for the suggestion, we will definitely take a look at it! We really appreciate your interest in the bookclub.

  • Joe Niemczura

    and while we are at it, I just returned from spending a year teaching critical care skills to nurses and MBBS doctors in Nepal (yes I was there for the earthquakes). if you go to my blog you can read about it. I’d be happy to post a guest blog entry from somebody involved in ALIEM – I have a FB page with 6,486 “likes” and I lay it at your feet in a spirit of cooperation……

    • Your experience also sounds amazing! I will let Michelle Lin take a look at your post and let you know. PS – what is your background?

      • Joe Niemczura

        Hi – I am a nurse. I am a University faculty member, and I have travelled to Nepal since 2007. My CV is posted in LinkedIn. I have fifteen years of adult ICU experience and I have been an AHA ACLS Instructor and Regional Faculty in the past.