Book Series: Dermatologists Reveal Must-Read Books


In a world with so many books and so little time, finding the best book that is useful to your practice and life can be challenging. The Dermatologist reached out to dermatologists and asked them what books influenced them and what books they would suggest other dermatologists make time to read.

The Benefits of Reading

Studies have shown that reading literary fiction enhances the ability to detect and understand other people’s emotions, an integral skill in social relationships.1,2 Other studies have shown that reading can increase cognitive abilities and analytical thinking,3 and reduce stress,4 among other benefits.

“Physicians are judged by patients for outcomes that sometimes seem irrelevant to us as we focus on disease states, providing cures, and improving the metrics of illness—but in their experience it is likely about the humanity we exhibit and caring about them as individuals,” said Justin Leitenberger, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR.

Time Management Tips


Along with empathy and improved patient interactions, reading can help dermatologists improve their time management. Babar K. Rao, MD, with the department of pathology and laboratory medicine, and department of dermatology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group in Somerset, NJ, suggested that dermatologists read a book on time management.

getting things done

“There is a book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. When my career was really getting rolling with a department chairmanship and private offices, I was getting very overwhelmed and his book really provided a lot of clarification and greatly improved both my personal and professional life,” he said.

In Getting Things Done, David Allen, a veteran coach and management consultant, describes how to achieve effective productivity. Allen’s steps for achieving improved productivity is based on the premise that one’s productivity is proportional to one’s ability to relax. In his book, Allen explains core principles and various proven tricks for how to:

  • apply the “do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it” rule
  • assess goals and remain focus during changing situations
  • plan projects and keep them on track
  • handle feelings of being overwhelmed, confused, and anxious
  • accept what you’re not doing

Getting Things Done was published by Penguin Books in 2002 and revised and re-released in 2015. Copies for both versions are available on Amazon.

Do you have a book recommendation for dermatologists? Email

1. Kidd DC, Castano E. Reading literary fiction improves theory of mind. Science. 2013;342(6156):377-380.
2. Gabriel S, Young AF. Becoming a vampire without being bitten: the narrative collective-assimilation hypothesis. Psychol Sci. 2011;22(8):990-994.
3. Cunningham A, Stanovich KE. What reading does for the mind. American Educator. 1998; 22(1-2):8-15.
4. Lewis D. Galaxy Commissioned Stress Research. Mindlab International, Sussex University. 2009.