A dedicated nightly reader and med-peds-trained hospitalist, Richard Wardrop, MD, PhD, is the Cleveland Clinic Internal Medicine Program Director. He has a unique way of showing his appreciation to learners by gifting them books as a token of their “chapter” spent learning and teaching together. This tradition was shown to him by his mentor, Dr. Clay Marsh, who gifted him the book Who Moved My Cheese? when he was a medical student.
Inspired by this gesture, Dr. Wardrop began gifting classic medical titles to learners, such as the Tarascon Internal Medicine & Critical Care Pocketbook to a medical student named Noel Ivey, who is now a hospitalist at Duke. The books have taken different forms over the years, from gifting Osler for White Coat Pockets to first-year residents as a welcome to the profession, to gifting the classic Quotable Osler to chief residents at graduation.
An avid reader himself, Dr. Wardrop spends at least 30 minutes reading before bed. He often keeps what he affectionately calls a commonplace journal to record important points from a book or thoughts that he doesn’t want to forget. While he often reads two to three books at a time, one of his favorite collections, Ernest Hemingway’s short stories, is a constant companion and has found its way into his program’s Narrative Medicine curriculum.
For example, the classic short story “A Day’s Wait” was recently used to teach his residents about the power of perspective and suffering in the eyes of the patient and the caregiver. When asked why he reads daily, Dr. Wardrop said “Reading is a tonic for my heart, my brain, and my soul. Reading and reflecting makes my thinking, writing, and interpersonal relationships better.” As a new group of medicine students enter the MATCH and resident/fellow graduation marks the end of an academic year Dr. Wardrop has shared some of his top favorites to gift.
- Only the Paranoid Survive by Andrew S. Grove
- The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
- Choosing Civility by P.M. Forni
- Multipliers by Liz Wiseman
Best Diagnostic Reasoning
- Sapira’s Art & Science of Bedside Diagnosis by Jane M. Orient
- Evidence-Based Physical Diagnosis by Steven McGee
- Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis by Basil J. Zitelli, Sara McIntire, and Andrew J. Nowalk
- Symptom to Diagnosis by Scott D.C. Stern, Adam S. Cifu, and Diane Altkorn
Life and Medicine
- Aequanimitas by William Osler
- Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
- The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
- Internal Medicine by Terrence Holt
Although these are just a few titles in the sea of medical texts, the Hippocratic oath upholds physicians sharing the art and craft of medicine. Consider the impact of a personalized gift to a learner and the lasting memory made through such a gesture.
Dr. Spaeth is a PGY-1 hospitalist at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and a member of The Hospitalist’s editorial board, and the SHM Physician in Training committee.