Genres: Memoir, Philosophy
Rating: 5/5 (Life Changing)
Fave Quote: “Life wasn’t about avoiding suffering”— Paul Kalanithi
I’m usually not the biggest fan of memoirs, but “When Breath Becomes Air” is definitely an exception. I’ve spent the last 4 years of my life surrounded by other pre-med students, so I went into this book thinking that it would be just like any other boring medical student success story. Student wants to be a doctor, works super hard, and eventually makes it after hitting some bumps in the road. I was very wrong. Paul’s life story is one of a kind and by reading his memoir you get to see what makes him truly exceptional. Not just exceptional as a neurosurgeon, but exceptional as a human being. By poetically taking readers through all the stages of his life (childhood, university, med school, residency, and finally being a patient himself), Paul is able to inspire readers to search for answers when it comes to living an authentic life.
I honestly think that it should be mandatory to read this book if you’re a physician or at least thinking about being a physician. I’ve always looked up to doctors but I feel as though not many people can picture what makes someone the "ideal" doctor. By reading this book, you will come to learn what makes someone the “ideal” doctor. I can tell you that it doesn’t have as much to do with their academic prowess as you may think. At the end of the day, I would recommend this book to anyone who’s looking to examine their values, ideals and their authentic self. Moreover, this book just may be the cure to any existential angst.
One more quote because there’s a lot of great ones from Paul:
“If the unexamined life was not worth living, was the unlived life worth examining”— Paul Kalanithi
I'm Farshad. I'm a health science student 🔬, musician 🎶, and productivity nerd 🤓, who's currently working at the Ontario Medical Association. In my spare time, I enjoy learning and exploring new ideas in the world of science, technology, and philosophy. I'm also always exploring new ways to help myself and others live better, happier and more meaningful lives.