Grey’s Anatomy is about to surpass ER as the longest-running medical drama on television. As of Season 16’s midwinter season finale, there have been more than 350 episodes—and we still can’t get enough. If you, like us, absolutely love everything about Seattle Grace/Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital’s exceptionally talented doctors and their dramatic, often heartbreaking, storylines, and can’t wait for the next season, here are 8 books to tide you over until it returns.
If you had to choose, who would you say was the greatest doctor to ever walk the halls of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital? Award-winning doctor Meredith Grey? By-the-book doctor April Kepner? Fearless doctor Cristina Yang? Or perhaps the unstable and rule-breaking doctor Alex Karev? In Ronald Epstein’s ATTENDING, he explores what makes a good doctor great—mindfulness. From his early years at Harvard Medical School, Epstein saw the great qualities of good doctors in action, which often yielded fewer errors, accurate diagnoses, and stronger connections with patients. Who of the Grey Sloan bunch fits this description?
Though our friends at Grey Sloan work in general medicine, this account of what it’s like to practice inside one of the most notorious psychiatric hospitals in the nation, practically mirrors the happenings at Grey Sloan. In this nonfiction work, chief of psychiatry of New York’s Bellevue Hospital, Dr. Elizabeth Ford, shares stories of caring for inmates who have experienced abuse and heartbreak, working alongside hardworking doctors and staff, and the crises experienced in and out of the hospital.
If you loved the early years of residency on Grey’s, this is a great book for you. This memoir follows Dr. Anthony Youn from his days as a resident into his time as a fully fledged plastic surgeon. Throughout the emotional and financial struggles, and fighting for patients’ lives, he asks himself what it means to be a doctor—something we’re pretty sure Meredith Grey has asked at some point in her voice-over.
Watching Grey Sloan doctors race to the helicopter pad with an organ for a patient on the other side of town are often the most riveting episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. And if the helicopter doesn’t crash, we witness the heartbreaking and unnerving decisions that accompany transplant surgeries. THE HEART is just as emotional as those many Grey’s episode. In this novel, set over the course of 24 hours, the heart of a teenaged boy involved in a car accident is transplanted into a woman on the verge of death.
Sure, the medicine is fascinating but there’s no shame in admitting it’s the romantic drama that has kept you watching all 350+ episodes. Kimmery Martin’s THE QUEEN OF HEARTS is about a pair of best friends (think Meredith and Cristina) who navigated romance and all the drama that comes with it throughout their early days of medical school. Now that they’re older, married, and have successful careers, the only chaos they have to deal with is inside the walls of their practices . . . until an old colleague comes back into their lives and brings with him old secrets that threaten to tear the two friends apart.
In this novel, Roy Basch enters the most renowned teaching hospital in the country as an intern. He, and five others in the program, endeavor not only to figure out how to become doctors but also how to become good people. Sound familiar? It’s a funny, honest tale about trying to stay sane and compassionate during your first year in the medical field.
Dr. Amelia and Dr. Derek Shepherd deal with all kinds of high-stress situations involving the brain—and in their ORs, the stakes are always high. Henry Marsh is a real neurosurgeon, and in his 2014 memoir, he shows you what it’s really like having to operate on the brain. Neurosurgery is an incredibly difficult, highly risky type of practice, and Henry Marsh shows us what’s behind the operating door: intense ethical dilemmas, amazing medical feats, acts of compassion, and the real-life issues facing patients and doctors.
Don’t you love a good tell-all? I certainly do! And in this memoir, Dr. Ruggieri gives us the inside scoop on everything: the good, the bad, and the in-between. Grey’s Anatomy somehow leaves me feeling two things simultaneously: that I understand what it’s like to work in a hospital, and that I have absolutely no clue about what life as a surgeon is actually like. Meanwhile, Dr. Ruggieri’s book removes the soap, but airs the laundry. He shows the real-life drama: the failures, the successes, the camaraderie, and the practical issues facing the profession (and business!) today. It’s honest and enlightening, and a great companion to the melodramatic life in Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
Photo Credit : Byron Cohen / ABC