Check It Out: Health Books and Shows

Get inspired to learn more about health and medicine.
By Sarah Neiderman
Check It Out Health

Interested in learning about health and medicine? Check out a few suggestions for things to read and watch.

To Read

  • We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success, by the Three Doctors More interested in the challenges you might face when pursuing a career in medicine? This inspiring true story will show you that anyone can make it—with the right support. Rameck, George, and Sampson grew up together in a crime-ridden area. They escaped that life only by vowing to one another that they would succeed. After becoming doctors, they started a foundation to provide mentorship to young people from their community. Their success reinforces the importance of friendship. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

  • Matilda Bone, by Karen Cushman This fictional, but very realistic, story about medieval medicine is not for the faint of heart! Matilda has been raised by a priest to be well-educated and pious. But she’s thrown for a loop when he sends her to work for a bonesetter. The very realistic portrayals of medieval medicine may seem wild to us now, but they’re accurate depictions of what was believed about medicine at the time. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

To Watch

  • Brainchild (2018, G) The first season of this show includes episodes that delve into brain science, including “Dreams,” “Emotions,” and “Thinking.” It covers other life-science topics, too. Viewers old and young will learn amazing facts about how our anatomy and body chemistry influence the way we think and feel.

  • SciTech Now: Life Science The videos on this website from PBS Learning Media open a window on what it’s like to be at the forefront of scientific research. Maybe they’ll inspire you to come up with some innovative ideas of your own. There are videos for kids in grades 3 through 12, so you’re bound to find something to enjoy. 

  • “Why Is It So Hard to Cure the Common Cold?” This is just one great example from a series of talks on medicine and medical research produced by TED-Ed, TED’s youth-and-education initiative. Watch experts in their fields share their insights. From the basics about the common cold to cutting-edge uses for artificial intelligence and nanoparticles, there’s something here for everyone interested in medicine and technology. Who knows, maybe it won’t be long before you’ll be giving a TED talk of your own!