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With quarantine keeping everyone inside, you’re probably looking for new ways to pass the time. Why not try some of our favorite medical books? Whether you’re looking for new tips to maintain your oral hygiene or a thrilling look at infectious diseases to help distract you, we think you’ll find your next great read somewhere in our list of great medical books.

Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the medical community was not prepared for the devastating effects of this natural disaster. Hospitals and long-term care facilities were forced to make difficult choices about how to use limited resources when help was far away. This gripping book covers five days at Memorial Medical Center, one of Louisiana’s biggest hospital, as nurses and doctors struggled to care for patients with no electricity. Several patients were euthanized, leading to second-degree murder charges, and this book explores the legal and ethical fall-out surrounding the decision to euthanize patients who could not be evacuated. As dentists, we are thankful we will never have to face such tough decisions.

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Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

You deserve a dentist who takes patient safety seriously. You should never have to worry about receiving the wrong dental procedure or being unnecessarily exposed to an infectious disease like COVID-19. At Arizona Dental Specialists, your safety is our priority. That’s one of the reasons we loved the Checklist Manifesto; Dr. Gawande’s seminal book on patient safety compellingly argues for medical centers to constantly improve patient care procedures to provide the highest level of care. As a patient, you’ll enjoy Dr. Gawande’s conversational writing style and be better equipped to advocate for yourself during any medical or dental treatment.

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Once you start reading this award-winning book, you’ll see why Oprah decided to turn it into a film. The story follows Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman whose cancer cells became one of the most important cells in laboratory research for decades, all without her family’s knowledge. Ms. Skloot expertly weaves together the life experience of Ms. Lacks with the scientific discoveries her cells inspired. Plus, the book serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of clear communication between patients and medical providers, a lesson we bring with us to every patient interaction.

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The Dental Diet by Steven Lin

You probably already know that too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, but do you know how other foods can affect your gums, tongue and tooth health? While this book is packed with scientific tips, it’s still easy to read and follow along with Dr. Lin’s advice and recipes. If you haven’t achieved the dental results you want with consistent brushing and flossing, it may be time to give nutritional dentistry a try.

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The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

With COVID-19 consuming everyone’s attention, this fast-paced look at viral hemorrhagic fevers offers a nice reminder that the current pandemic could be much worse. Written in 1994, this non-fiction thriller explores highly fatal viruses like Ebola and Marburg, detailing their effects on the human body, their high rate of spread and the lack of cures for these viruses. The book also explores a near-disaster at a scientific facility on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., where several dozen research monkeys began exhibiting signs of Ebola virus disease.

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Teeth by Mary Otto

Have you ever wondered why dentists attend dental school instead of medical school and why you need dental insurance in addition to medical insurance? This book covers the history of dental science in the United States, explaining how dentistry evolved into a unique medical field. You will also learn about the difficulties many patients face in accessing affordable, high-quality dental care and some of the public health efforts to make dentistry accessible to all.

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Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

Are you ready to be inspired? This tear-jerking biography of Dr. Paul Farmer, a man who’s devoted his life to improving healthcare in rural Haiti, might have you rushing to join a medical mission, or at least donate to Dr. Farmer’s organization, Partners in Health. Dr. Farmer is a kind, passionate advocate for the health of his patients who will stop at nothing to raise the money he needs to provide high-quality healthcare.

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Do you have a favorite medical book, blog, or TV show? Leave us a comment with your recommendations, or give us a call at 480-633-9977 for our Gilbert office or 602-795-5995 for our Phoenix office. Whether you’re having a dental emergency or just need to hear a friendly voice, we are here for you.