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.

ALiEM Book Club: Beyond the ED Series

The ALiEM Book Club’s 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
December 2016 Show and Tell: How Everybody Can Make Extraordinary Presentations Dan Roam
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.

ALiEM Bookclub: When Breath Becomes Air

41jFVZL72YL._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_Dr. Kalanithi was a chief resident in Neurosurgery at Stanford University when he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. “When Breath becomes Air,” is a touching chronicle of his initial journey into medicine and neurosurgery and subsequent transition to the role of patient after his cancer diagnosis. This profoundly moving memoir is a tribute to his young life and family that he had to leave behind, but also a sad glimpse of the potential that this promising young doctor and author never will attain.



ALiEM Bookclub: Steal Like An Artist

Steal like an artistWhere do “new” ideas come from? Do they strike like lightning or start in familiar territory and gradually transform with each iteration? How is creativity cultivated? Innovators are frequently asked, “where do your ideas come from?”, and it’s a good question.

Artist and writer Austin Kleon [author profile] answers “I steal them.” Based initially on a lecture advising students how to foster creativity, Steal Like an Artist is a valuable resource for anyone engaged in creative pursuits, or really, just anyone in general.



ALiEM Bookclub: Bouncebacks! Emergency Department Cases: ED Returns


There are many pitfalls the practicing Emergency Medicine practitioner can encounter,  but hopefully avoid during their time in the ED. Bounceback patients, the ones who come back the next day, usually worse off than the day before, are definitely dreaded events that most would like to avoid. Of course, the ideal goal would be to never have that happen to you or your patients, but that is just not realistic. That’s why Bouncebacks! can be integral to anyone’s reading list.



ALiEM Bookclub: Beyond the ED – Recommendations by Dr. Felix Ankel

ALiEM Bookclub: Beyond the EDMost people bring value to a community through their work and their ideas. It is the rare person who brings value by giving us a new perspective. This post is from such a person. Dr. Felix Ankel is Vice President, Health Professions Education at HealthPartners Institute and Assistant Dean at University of Minnesota Medical School. He has been a leader within the EM Education community through his national involvement and leadership in FOAMed. More than his accomplishments, he is best known for contributing to the EM education community as the resident philosopher and for his ability to bring a different perspective to any conversation. Hopefully this post will give you a taste of what we have all gained from him over the years.



ALiEM Bookclub: Beyond the ED – Recommendations by Dr. Jim Adams

“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.”

canstockphoto8237186Dr. Jim Adams is a Professor of Emergency Medicine (EM) and both the Chair of the Department of EM at Northwestern University and Senior Vice President/Chief Medical Officer for Northwestern Memorial Health Care. Although he is internationally recognized for his contributions to areas of ethics and leadership in EM, for myself and many others, he is best known as a mentor and an inspiration. To spend time with him is to walk away ready to take on the world. We appreciate the opportunity to share his book recommendations.



ALiEM Bookclub: Voices From Chernobyl

“Our life revolves around Chernobyl. Where were you when it voices from chernobylhappened, how far from the reactor did you live? What did you see? Who died? Who left? Where did they go? I remember in the first months the night life started buzzing again – “you only live once,” “if we’re going to die, let’s do it to music.” The soldiers came and the officers came. But now Chernobyl is with us every day. No matter what happens, everyone says: Chernobyl. pg 116



ALIEM Bookclub: A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies

a few shortA Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies [1] is the brilliant debut collection of stories by physician turned-author John Murray. Inspired by his background in science and medicine, the novel focuses on the lives of researchers, physicians, nurses, explorers and collectors, who share a love for detail and scientific explanation. Murray’s stories are a wonderful balance of fiction and facts, which take the reader to the most enthralling places around the globe: from the slums of Bombay during a Cholera epidemic to remote areas of the key west; from the peaks of the Himalayas to a United Nations refugee camp in Africa. Entomology, microbiology, and neuroscience are among the areas of expertise described in this book. Despite an obsession by each of Murray’s characters to categorize and create order of the world through their field of study, the core of the stories deals with an emotional hurdle that requires the protagonist to respond to a more chaotic inner and personal world. (more…)