Medicine is Weird
The COVID-19 pandemic has put medicine at the forefront of most conversations. Simultaneously it has left non-science minded folks like myself trying to catch up on the never ending debates over science vs. pseudoscience. On my journey to educate myself, I discovered a few curiosity-piquing books on medical misconceptions that I'm sure folks out there will love or love to hate. The list below includes great titles, killer cover art, and a wide range of perspectives on the science of medicine.
Viral BS: Medical Myths and Why We Fall For Them by Dr. Seema Yasmin
From my ever growing TBR [To-Be-Read] pile, this book's cover art really grabbed my attention. I appreciated the short chapters and how it covered popular myths that I could recall being brought up in conversations or on the news. Overall it helped me feel like a more informed consumer of health news.
Hype: A Doctor's Guide to Medical Myths, Exaggerated Claims and Bad Advice by Dr. Nina Shapiro
Do we really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day and only eat Kale? Personally, I prefer spinach (and chips!) and this book made me feel like that was okay. Overall this book does a great job of helping you worry less. The author decodes popular misconceptions and promotes lifestyle choices that we can all realistically implement.
Overkill: When Modern Medicine Goes Too Far by Dr. Paul A. Offit
Another title focused on patient advocacy, this book may leave you questioning common medical interventions like sunscreen and eye-drops for pink eye. No stranger to hot button issues, Dr. Paul Offit knows how to grab readers' attention on topics such as vaccines, religion & medicine and celebrities as health advocates. Can we say medical click-bait?
1 Out of 10 Doctors Recommends by Dr. Eric Bender, Dr. Murdoch Khaleghi and Dr. Bobby Singh
Humor really is the best medicine and this collection of hilarious essays are sure to go down like a spoonful of sugar. Warning, some topics were a little gross to read about, unless you're the kind of reader who would consider using live eels to relieve constipation?
Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: What We Think We Know May Be Hurtin Us by Steven Novella
I am a big fan of this lecture series, The Great Courses, especially since they are available in multiple formats including DVD videodiscs, eVideo streaming video files and my personal favourite, eAudiobooks! This particular course really emphasizes how you are responsible for your own health and it gives you practical tools to evaluate the accuracy of medical information that is out there in the universe.
Curiosity Peaking Medical Histories
Kill or Cure: An Illustrated History of Medicine by Steve Parker
Talk about a front row seat to medical history, this book is an oldie but a goody. Full of remarkable chance discoveries, pioneering medical instruments and wonder drugs, this book traces the history of medical progress through notebooks and other first-person accounts. Not for the faint of heart, this hefty 400 page book also includes illustrations.
The Wine-Dark Sea Within: A Turbulent History of Blood by Dhun Sethna
A global perspective on the history of blood may sound like a snooze, but I really enjoyed the author's writing style (having a personal interest in the topic didn't hurt). Imagine for a moment the scientist who discovered that blood is circulated throughout the body in a single direction. Now imagine how that news would have been received by folks back in 1628. Have I peaked your curiosity? The Wine-Dark Sea Within is an impactful read that will have you impressing friends at parties in no time.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like another recent post showcasing "6 Vintage Ads & Pamphlets for Medical Remedies Sold in Ontario." Can you tell which remedies were genuinely trying to reduce human suffering? And which ones were not?
Edited on July 6, 2022 to change "curiosity-peeking" to "curiosity-piquing."