The Medical Educator Library



Great reads to save you time and help you teach like a boss


Time Hacks for the Clinical Teacher

Need some time hacks to stay ahead of your jam-packed clinical day and find the time to teach?

The Teaching Medicine book series is a compilation of six books (only two of them pictured here) on the theory, practices, and real-time applications of clinical teaching. An outstanding book series for the budding new medical educator or graduating resident or fellow. And I'm not just saying that because one of my mentors wrote it. Honestly one of my all-time favorites in the books-on-med-ed department (What? You didn't see that aisle in B&N?).

The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan is a fantastic book for increasing your time efficiency and productivity by focusing on--yep, you guessed it--the one thing that will make everything else easier and better.

Keeping in that frame of mind, The One Thing is a concise, to-the-point read that medical educators can use to focus on what they want to achieve as clinical teachers and how best to get there.

Small Teaching explores the concept of cognititve theory and how it can be applied in small, easy, practical ways to enhance classroom (and clinical) teaching on a daily basis. 

An interesting read that does what too few books on adult learning theory do these days: applies a learning theory to the everyday practice of being an educator.

Make It Stick is a great read about how to make sure your learners master what your teaching in the long-term with spaced repetition. Backed with a strong amount of research data, this book is a great read to understand the "how" behind our mastery of knowledge and why once-over memorization just doesn't work.

Coaching Conversations is all about how to be an effective coach. Different from a mentor, the role of a coach focuses on guiding the learner as they walk down their own personal or professional path. An effective coach helps to aim their learners in the direction most likely to be met with success while still respecting that the path they choose they be different from our own. 

If you're ever at a loss for words, Coaching Conversations is jam-packed with examples of the language and questions you can use to guide and motivate your learners. A book I've referenced repeatedly over the years when I just didn't know what to say or how to say it.

The Power of Habit is an engrossing read on how and why we do what we do. Chock-full of habit-based research interspersed with true-to-life stories and applications, The Power of Habit will leave you pondering the profound effect habits have on all our lives. This book is a powerhouse of information for all teachers trying to instill new habits in their learners and themselves!


In his book Outliers, William Gladwell explores the differences among some of the most successful people in the world and what set them apart and put them on the path to such great success. 

While this is not a typical education book, it's a wonderful read I find myself turning to often when I have a gifted learner or one that doesn't fit the mold of our traditional medical education system. As a side note, Outliers is a compelling read for those medical educators with school-aged children too.

So often we find ourselves regurgitating facts, graphs, and figures as a way of impressing the importance of what we're teaching. And we've all been on the receiving end of that talk too, feeling unimpressive, bored, even sedated by it all. How much more impactful would all those facts be if they were wrapped up in a personal story?

The Storyteller's Secret walks the reader through the types of stories that have the most impact and how to tell them in a way that captivates our audience and leaves them contemplating waht we've said long after the talk ends.

Are you trying to inspire a group of medical educators to take their teaching to the next level? Are you working with a team to develop a curriculum that does more than rely the facts? Then Good to Great is a must-read for you.

While Good to Great is written as a business strategy book, I've found it to be a great guideline for how to bring a team together, get everyone to set their sights high and achieve great things together. 

Curriculum Development for Medical Education is, just as it says, a step-wise approach to building and developing a curriculum. Although this book focuses on medical education, the methods clearly apply to any form of curriculum development. Kern, Thomas, and Hughes use an easy-to-follow step-by-step approach with examples and outcomes to help the clinical teacher understand how different data should be collected and analyzed to evaluate the effectiveness of various curricula which also makes it a great read for those who want to develop a scholarly activity from their new course too.

While not your typical book on teaching, Start With Why can easily be translated into the realm of medical edcuation. This book discusses why it's so important to show your learners why they should care about what you're teaching before you do the teaching itself.

A great read for those medical educators trying to motivate and inspire learners as they teach.

Getting ready for that first Grand Rounds? Ignore everything you've ever seen, heard, or been told about slide deck presentations and read Presentation Zen instead. It's the goal standard (or at least it should be) for giving a visually stunning, captivating presentation. Garr Reynolds sets the bar high and so should we. A game-changer for anyone getting ready to give a lecture.

What? That last recommendation wasn't enough for you? Presentation Zen Design delves into more on slide design. Get it. Read it. Awesome.

In Slideology, Garr Reynolds makes more magic as he discusses how to use your slides as a support for the story you are trying to tell with your presentation, instead of as the crutch we so often see in the typical slide presentation. Reynolds hits another home run with this one.

Talk Like TED covers the 9 secrets of taking your public speaking from "meh" to masterful. This book is all about how we emphasize, motivate, and even inspire as we speak. It's a fantastic resources for medical educators looking to take their public speaking skills to the next level.

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