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20 Best Books for Doctors: Personal Finance & Inspiring Stories

best book for doctors

Do you want to level up your financial game while finding inspiration in the stories of your fellow physicians? From mastering money management to igniting your passion for medicine, these reads offer valuable insights and fresh outlooks to elevate both your wallet and spirit.

This article will include:

  • Personal finance books for healthcare workers.
  • Best books for doctors to read to inspire and educate.

Read more:

Must-Read Books for Doctors

“Doctor books” aren’t just about anatomy or disease encyclopedias. Beyond the classroom, there are a bunch of key topics that aren’t covered in college and residency. As you advance in your career, new questions arise: How do you manage your newfound wealth? How do you stay motivated after years in the field?

I’ve narrowed it down to the top must-reads covering personal finance, motivation, and more. While these books are aimed at physicians, many of the advice, stories, and information can resonate with anyone.

10 Best Personal Finance Books Every Doctor Should Read

The financial journey from med school debt to residency earnings and beyond reveals unique challenges for physicians. Check out these guides designed to help healthcare professionals build a strong financial base, grow their wealth, and secure a stable future.

The Physician Philosopher’s Guide to Personal Finance – James D. Turner

The Physician Philosopher’s Guide to Personal Finance

By James D Turner

  • You get actionable steps
  • Topics include debt management and investing
  • Easy writing style
  • Steps for both medical students and seasoned practitioners

James D. Turner MD has created this guide as a resource to empower physicians to get through the complexities of personal finance. Covering topics like investing, debt management, and asset protection, this book is packed with practical advice.


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Dr. Turner has a knack for demystifying the nitty-gritty of financial planning with his easy writing style and clear explanations.

You don’t just get theoretical advice but actionable steps. Whether you’re a medical student with student loans or a seasoned practitioner planning for retirement, even daunting topics become achievable.

The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko

The Millionaire Next Door

By Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko

  • The lives of the wealthy
  • Can anyone build wealth?
  • Debunks money myths
  • Based on scientific data

The Millionaire Next Door is a tried-and-tested classic exploring the lifestyles of millionaires in America. Authors Thomas J. Stanley Ph.D. and William D. Danko, Ph.D. uncover all the common traits, behaviors, and principles that make up millionaires’ financial achievements.

This book can show you the tips and tricks behind building wealth, saving, investing, and living frugally. It challenges conventional ideas and highlights using financial management for long-term prosperity.

The authors blend anecdotes with statistical analysis — and while some stats are outdated, the key principles are still relevant today.

Die With Zero – Bill Perkins

Die With Zero

By Bill Perkins

  • A philosophical approach
  • Are you over-saving?
  • How to live rich, not die rich
  • Psychological and behavioral finance

If you want to learn a thing or two about making the most of your money and your life, you’re in the right place. Bill Perkins challenges the norm of endlessly building up wealth for retirement and encourages you to prioritize memorable experiences.

While this philosophy isn’t for everyone, particularly if you don’t have a disposable income, it helps you reconsider your relationship with money and time.

Through personal anecdotes and insights from behavioral finance, Perkins can help you optimize your life stage by stage to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

“Die With Zero” inspires you to live boldly and unapologetically by focusing on converting earnings into meaningful moments.

Read our full review for the full scoop.

Financial Freedom Rx: The Physician’s Guide to Achieving Financial Independence – Chirag P. Shah & Jayanth Sridhar

Financial Freedom Rx

By Chirag P. Shah & Jayanth Sridhar

  • Time-tested formula
  • How to budget
  • Invest and grow your portfolio
  • Estate planning and retirement

From budgeting in medical school to estate planning for senior physicians, “Financial Freedom Rx” covers every stage of a doctor’s financial journey.

Authors Chirag P. Shah MD and Jayanth Sridhar MD recognize and advise on the challenges faced by physicians, like heavy student debt and income spikes.

The book offers a step-by-step guide that simplifies financial jargon without sacrificing depth.

By giving flexible solutions and covering all aspects of financial planning, such as basic budgeting and advanced investment strategies, you get the knowledge and tools to take control of your financial future.

The Doctor’s Guide to Eliminating Debt – Dr Cory S. Fawcett

The Doctors Guide to Eliminating Debt

By Dr Cory S. Fawcett

  • How to survive debt
  • Steps to pay off loans
  • Understand compound interest
  • Retire sooner rather than later

“The Doctor’s Guide to Eliminating Debt” is for medical professionals looking to get away from the dreaded burden of debt. Dr. Fawcett outlines the steps to pay off debt swiftly without giving up quality of life.

Stand-outs include the emphasis on living debt-free, the argument for making compound interest work, and how to retire sooner.

While the book targets doctors, its principles are universal and relevant to anyone seeking financial independence. It’s a must-read if you want to break free from the shackles of debt and build long-term wealth.

The Financially Intelligent Physician: What They Didn’t Teach You in Medical School – David J. Norris

The Financially Intelligent Physician

By David J. Norris

  • How to practice good medicine
  • Successful healthcare organization
  • How to read financial statements
  • Monitoring costs, income, expenditure


This book helps physicians take control of their financial well-being, particularly if you’re running a medical practice. David J. Norris, MD gives advice on understanding financial statements, managing costs, and evaluating investment opportunities for running a successful practice.

He breaks down complex financial concepts and shows you how to take ownership of your practice and understand the intricacies involved.

By empowering physicians to become savvy investors and smart financial planners, this book lays the foundation for long-term financial security.

Financial Residency: Create Your Financial Plan Without the Long Hours or Sleepless Nights – Ryan & Taylor Inman

Financial Residency: Create Your Financial Plan

By Ryan & Taylor Inman

  • A physician’s financial plan
  • Asking the right questions
  • Practical, easy, user-friendly
  • Worksheets and supplemental materials

This finance book is co-authored by married couple Ryan Inman and Taylor Inman, M.D., blending the world of medicine and financial planning. Using a workbook format and simple language, it walks you through each step of the planning process with realistic suggestions.

Dr. Taylor and Ryan Inman’s combined expertise makes the book relevant to readers at any career stage. While it isn’t the most in-depth on the list, it’s a solid foundation for physicians looking to organize their finances.

Plus, the companion podcast is a big bonus, making it easy to brush up on the go.

Your Money or Your Life – Joe Dominguez & Vicki Robin

Your Money or Your Life

By Joe Dominguez & Vicki Robin

  • Nine-step program
  • How to get out of debt
  • Convert problems into opportunities
  • Resolve inner conflicts

“Your Money or Your Life” offers timeless tips on financial management, covering topics like investing, managing side hustles, and decluttering finances. Authors Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez emphasize clarity and self-discovery, encouraging you to reassess your relationship with money.

While it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, the book aims to shift mindset and prompt introspection. In parts, the book can be overly repetitive and could do with more specific investment guidance.

But its emphasis on mindfulness, value-based spending, and self-discovery shows that true financial independence requires a shift in perspective.

Take a look at our complete review.

The White Coat Investor – James M. Dahle

The White Coat Investor: A Doctor’s Guide to Personal Finance and Investing

By James M. Dahle MD

  • Graduate with minimal debt
  • Find the right insurance
  • Sensible, low-cost investments
  • How to become a millionaire

The White Coat Investor is written by the man behind the popular WCI blog, James M. Dahle, MD. The book dives into key topics like managing student debt, navigating investments, and understanding taxes.

You can use this manual for practical advice to build wealth, protect assets, and secure your financial future.

The tone is refreshingly straightforward, even without a finance background. While the initial chapters may seem geared toward medical professionals, they lay a solid foundation for understanding key financial principles.

Plus, having links to extra resources lets you further explore specific topics.

Check out our full review.

The White Coat Investor’s Guide for Students – James M Dahle

The White Coat Investor’s Guide for Students

By James M. Dahle MD

  • How to pay for school
  • Choosing the right specialty
  • Avoid financial catastrophe
  • Prevent and combat burnout

“The White Coat Investor’s Guide for Students” guides medical students through the ups and downs of managing finances during school and residency. James M Dahle takes away any guilt associated with living on student loans, while giving his take on the financial implications of decisions made during your education.

The book strikes the perfect balance between simplicity and depth, assuming no prior knowledge of personal finance and laying out concepts clearly with a touch of humor.

Dr. Dahle recognizes the circumstances of medical students, such as age, employment status, and financial challenges. You also get bonus chapters and QR codes to easily access extra tools and resources.

10 Best Books for Medical Professionals to Educate and Inspire

Reading inspirational books is like taking a shot of espresso. They can help you recharge, stay upbeat, and tackle those tough days. Growth isn’t always tied to your experience level or bank account — it can be about opening your mind and looking at the field of medicine with fresh eyes.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat – Oliver Sacks

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

By Oliver Sacks

  • Sensitive storytelling
  • Centering the human subject
  • Informative and entertaining
  • Learning medicine’s ultimate responsibility

“The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: And Other Clinical Tales” by Oliver Sacks is an exploration of neurological disorders through the lens of real-life case histories. Through vivid storytelling, Sacks introduces you to patients who’ve lost their memories, struggle to recognize people, or are dealing with involuntary behaviors.

Sacks has a knack for blending clinical expertise with heartfelt empathy. Each case comes with sensitivity and compassion, showing patient’s struggles while shedding light on the human brain. Using “normal” language makes the book accessible to a wide audience, giving you a deeper understanding of neurological conditions.

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery – Henry Marsh

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery

By Henry Marsh

  • Learn the realities of neurosurgery
  • The joys of operating
  • Surgical disasters and triumphs
  • Lessons in Hope

“Do No Harm” is an intimate glimpse into the world of neurosurgery. Henry Marsh shares the highs and lows of being a brain surgeon through compassion, candor, and humor.

From his greatest successes to his haunting failures, he gets through the complexities of human life and mortality with skillful storytelling.

Marsh reveals the technical precision of brain surgery and the emotions surrounding patient care. If you’re easily queasy, you might want to skip the surgical procedures — but reading about them helps you understand the work’s gravity and its impact on patients and surgeons.

The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care – Marty Makary

The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care

By Marty Makary MD

  • The healthcare business
  • Rising healthcare costs
  • Reforming the system
  • Getting better healthcare deals

“The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care and How to Fix It” focuses on the flaws in the American healthcare system and suggests solutions for reform. With real-life stories and research, Dr. Marty Makary exposes profiteering practices and the middlemen contributing to sky-high healthcare costs.

Dr. Makary advocates for transparency and recognizes the disruptors challenging the status quo.

While there are moments of sensationalism and digression, the overall message is clear: the American healthcare system needs reform, and there are steps you and organizations can take to drive change.

When Breath Becomes Air –  Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air

By Paul Kalanithi

  • What makes life worth living?
  • The doctor-patient relationship
  • Discover the central aspects of human life
  • Poetic, intense, honest

“When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi is a moving memoir chronicling the author’s journey from a promising neurosurgeon to a terminally ill patient.

At the pinnacle of his medical career, Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, forcing him to grapple with questions about the meaning of life, the nature of death, and the essence of human existence.

Kalanithi’s memoir transcends its genre, offering insights that resonate with readers from all walks of life. It’s a book that challenges us to confront our mortality and treasure each moment, making it a must-read for anyone seeking deeper meaning in their own journey through life.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End – Atul Gawande

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

By Atul Gawande

  • The realities of nursing homes
  • The struggles of surgeons
  • Living the good life
  • Exploring aging and death

“Being Mortal” explores aging, death, and end-of-life care in modern medicine. Surgeon and gifted writer Atul Gawande dives into the challenges of dealing with the needs and desires of aging patients.

He critiques the current medical approach, which often prioritizes prolonging life at the expense of quality and dignity.

While the book may not offer solid answers to the complex issues it raises, it’s a catalyst for important conversations about end-of-life care and the human experience of aging. “Being Mortal” isn’t just a book about medicine; it’s a powerful meditation on what it means to live a meaningful life and to face death.

The House of God – Samuel Shem & John Updike

The House of God

By Samuel Shem & John Updike

  • Brutally honest
  • Explore the life of doctors
  • Terrifying, hilarious, exhausting
  • Substantial, compassionate writing

“The House of God” is a gritty and unapologetic look into the lives of medical interns facing the challenges of hospital life. Written by Samuel Shem, the novel follows Dr. Roy Basch and his friends as they deal with the harsh realities of patient care, mortality, and the often brutal environment of their training hospital.

The book goes into themes of life and death, with dark humor and stark realism.

Through sexual escapades and coping mechanisms, Shem shows the struggles faced by young doctors amidst the chaos of the medical profession. Its raunchy humor and cynical tone may not be for everyone, but the novel’s unfiltered honesty reveals the pressures of residency.

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer – Siddharta Mukherjee

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

By Siddharta Mukherjee

  • An eloquent chronicle
  • The story of cancer
  • The future of cancer treatments
  • Hopeful

“The Emperor of All Maladies” chronicles the history of cancer, from its ancient origins to modern-day treatments. Siddhartha Mukherjee creates a multifaceted portrait of the disease, highlighting the triumphs and tragedies experienced by patients, scientists, and doctors.

Using personal anecdotes and scientific discoveries, Mukherjee captures the essence of the human experience in the face of adversity.

While the book’s extensive research and detailed narratives may be overwhelming, its ability to express scientific concepts in an accessible manner is impressive. Despite the emotional weight of the subject, you’ll be pulled in by the stories of resilience, with a new appreciation for the tireless efforts of those fighting this formidable foe.

Mountains Beyond Mountains – Tracy Kidder

Mountains Beyond Mountains

By Tracy Kidder

  • The difference one man can make
  • Politics, wealth, and society
  • Philosophical masterpiece
  • Provocative, funny, idealistic

“Mountains Beyond Mountains” follows the remarkable journey of Dr. Paul Farmer, a physician committed to eradicating infectious diseases and providing medical care to underserved communities.

Tracy Kidder’s storytelling takes you on a journey from the halls of Harvard to the remote villages of Haiti, Peru, and beyond, showing the impact of Farmer’s work on global health.

Through Farmer’s relentless dedication, Kidder reveals the web of social, political, and economic factors shaping healthcare. The immersive narrative, coupled with Kidder’s candid reflections, highlights global health challenges and the power of individual action.

Every Patient Tells a Story – Lisa Sanders

Every Patient Tells a Story

By Lisa Sanders

  • A detective story of illness
  • Connecting with patients
  • Difficulties of medical diagnoses
  • Navigating uncertainty and intrigue

“Every Patient Tells a Story” by Dr. Lisa Sanders sheds light on the challenging and often mysterious process of unraveling patients’ illnesses.

Through patient stories, Dr. Sanders explores the art and science of diagnosis, emphasizing listening and observation in identifying and treating medical conditions. Dr. Sanders’s reflections on the challenges of modern medicine will resonate with anyone who has experienced the healthcare system.

From doctor-patient communication to the pitfalls of diagnostic errors, Sanders provides an honest outlook on the realities of healthcare professionals in their quest to solve medical mysteries.

What Doctors Feel – Danielle Ofri

What Doctors Feel

By Danielle Ofri

  • Journey into the minds of physicians
  • The emotional lives of doctors
  • Scientific evidence
  • Riveting, humbling, humorous

“What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine” explores the often overlooked emotions of medical professionals. Dr. Danielle Ofri draws on scientific research and personal anecdotes to reveal the truth of the doctor-patient relationships, including the coping mechanisms and emotional resilience that sustain healthcare providers.

Dr. Ofri’s ability to blend personal narratives with medical insights makes the book engaging to both healthcare professionals and “normal” readers.

While some sections lean too much towards the personal side, they still add depth and give us valuable context for understanding the challenges and rewards of practicing medicine.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, the top must-reads for physicians or anyone interested in the medical field. But let’s see if we can add more to the reading list.

What do you think are the best books for healthcare professionals? Do you prefer reading books written by doctors? What books do you recommend for future doctors? Let us know in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “20 Best Books for Doctors: Personal Finance & Inspiring Stories”

  1. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  2. Great recommendations. I was puzzled at first by the House of God authorship attribution to Updike. The Amazon version appears to list him as a coauthor though it is simply for the introduction to the novel.
    Regarding the late Dr. Oliver Sacks, I have to recommend his other medical and non medical books as well, including his childhood memior “Uncle Tungsten,” which I’m sure will delight some of the science ‘geeks’ among the readers.


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