Healthcare book recommendations from top young leaders – Business Insider
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The $3.6 trillion US healthcare system is complicated.
Getting up to speed on how healthcare is delivered and paid for is no easy task.
We asked the people on Business Insider’s list of 30 leaders under 40 who are working to transform US healthcare for book recommendations. In particular: What’s one book that they suggest to everyone who wants to understand healthcare?
The ones they picked range from books written by doctors and surgeons like Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee and Dr. Atul Gawande to books detailing the success or failure of new startups.
Here are their top picks.
“Where Does It Hurt? An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Fixing Health Care” by Jonathan Bush with Stephen Baker
Recommended by Artem Petakov, 38, CEO of Noom.
“I like that one as an introduction to healthcare,” Petakov said.
“Emotional Agility” by Susan David
Recommended by Nicole Gaudelli, 36, head of gene editing technologies at Beam Therapeutics.
Having emotional agility is key to managing people, especially at a growing startup, Gaudelli said.
“Having command of how you’re coming to work, showing up, working as a team, is a skill that people need to focus in on when they really want to dive into biotechs, especially ones that are young and trying to build up, because it’s constantly changing,” Gaudelli said. “There is constantly people coming in, you have to adapt.”
“The Death of Cancer” by Dr. Vincent T. DeVita Jr. and Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn
Recommended by Josh Cohen, 28, Amylyx co-CEO.
“It’s the story of the war on cancer and some of how drug development worked in the very early days of the FDA,” Cohen said. “In a way, it’s very different from how we make drugs today, but it gives a lot of ideas.
“It’s also quite exciting, some of the advances that were made during that time,” Cohen added.
“A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution” by Jennifer Doudna and Samuel Sternberg
Recommended by Janice Chen, 29, cofounder and chief technology officer at Mammoth Biosciences.
“Technology has this tendency to kind of get ahead of us,” Chen said. “But we just have to make sure that we continue as a community to have these discussions to understand what is right and what is good for humanity. Those are difficult questions. And Jennifer touched a lot on that in her book.”
“Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World” by David Epstein
Recommended by Dr. Lily Peng, 37, group product manager at Google Health.
“It’s not healthcare specific, but the idea of how doctors and AI can be helpful to each other I think is really, really poignant there,” Peng said.
“Chasing My Cure” by David Fajgenbaum
Recommended by Kevin Heyries, 38, cofounder of AbCellera.
“I remember when I was in doing my PhD, doing a postdoc, it’s research: it’s super fulfilling, it’s cool, it’s great,” Heyries said.” But maybe you lose a bit, the connection with the actual potential benefits of what you’re doing. I think this book reminded me that quite a bit.”
“Being Mortal” by Dr. Atul Gawande
Recommended by Julia Hu, 35, CEO of Lark Health.
“I thought that was a very touching book,” Hu said.
“Complications” by Dr. Atul Gawande
Recommended by Dr. Sachin Jain, 40, CEO of SCAN Health Plan.
“The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation” by Jon Gertner
Recommended by Matt Hollingsworth, 33, Carta cofounder.
“The Rise and Fall of American Growth,” by Robert J. Gordon
Recommended by Dr. Nate Gross, 36, CEO of Doximity.
“They take two different perspectives, one a little optimist, a little pessimist on industrial revolutions and how they’ve affected workforces,” Gross said. “How much temporal pain is there? Does it lead to greater growth in the long run? Really tough questions that I don’t think there’s any right answer to, but there are a lot of concerns with things that society has been experiencing through incredible leaps in AI and automation and things like that that will will the next revolution behave the same way. Will it leave anyone behind that? If we can be more intentional now won’t get left behind. I think that’s one of our bigger societal challenges.”
“How Doctors Think” by Dr. Jerome Groopman
Recommended by Katherine Ryder, 38, founder and CEO of Maven.
“At the end of the day, you actually have to understand the providers who are delivering the healthcare,” Ryder said. “Everyone’s a patient, so that you can probably understand, or a family member who was a patient, but not everyone obviously is a doctor or a healthcare provider.”
“Reinventing American Health Care” by Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel
Recommended by Jay Desai, 39, CEO of PatientPing.
“What he does is he starts with the employer-based healthcare system,” Desai said, referring to Emanuel. “He does a really good job giving a tour from how the system was designed to the ACA.”
“Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari
Recommended by Anna Huyghues-Despointes, 32, head of strategy at Owkin.
“The Emperor of All Maladies” by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee
Recommended by Sabah Oney, 38, chief business officer at Alector and Ciara Metcalfe, 37, a senior scientist at Genentech.
“I really enjoyed, ‘The Emperor of All Maladies,’ not just because you learn a lot about cancer, but you also learn a lot about the forces that are involved, both political, economic, and everything else around it that can actually really shift the focus of a whole country or whole world to solve one thing that, has been plaguing us for 5,000 years,” Oney said.
It might feel that science isn’t progressing when looking at shorter timelines, but when looking at the whole history of diseases like cancer, it’s easier to get a good view of how far we’ve come, he said.
“I take a lot of encouragement from that, that what happened in cancer is going to happen in neurodegeneration too. Because we’re now putting the resources in, it’s just the timeline, is not going to be one year.”
“Deep Learning for the Life Sciences: Applying Deep Learning to Genomics, Microscopy, Drug Discovery, and More,” by Bharath Ramsundar, Peter Eastman, Patrick Walters and Vijay Pande
Recommended by Mary Rozenman, 39, chief financial officer at Insitro.
“It really just goes through the history of machine learning and the biological context for folks who’re on the tech side,” Rozenman said.
“An American Sickness” by Elisabeth Rosenthal
Recommended by Dr. Andrew Le, 33, CEO of Buoy Health.
“Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson
Recommended by Dr. Utibe Essien, 35, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.
“That book really just changed the way that I think about my work,” Essien said. “Bryan Stevenson, his story about getting proximate with his clients is really what changed, how I think about my patients as well.”
“Unscaled” by Hemant Taneja with Kevin Maney
Recommended by Holly Maloney, 35, managing director at General Catalyst.
“My colleague’s book, ‘Unscaled,’ is brilliant,” Maloney said. “Definitely a must-read!”
“Zero to One” by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters
Recommended by Rich Horgan, 28, founder of Cure Rare Disease.
“It’s really hard to take something from zero to one, but it’s easier to go from one to two. I’m somewhere in between the zero and the one, I feel like we are closer to the one and let me tell you it’s a painful, painful trail,” Horgan said.
“This idea of starting something from nothing is really difficult, but the book lays it out nicely,” Horgan added. “It’s not necessarily a step-by-step answer, but it made me think more about the mental construct and the lens to think of something like what I’m doing through.”
“The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands” by Dr. Eric Topol
Recommended by Erik Cardenas, 38, a tech leader at Amazon Care.
“There’s a lot of good themes in that book that really resonated with me, but it really comes down to consumerism in healthcare,” Cardenas said. “I find it very interesting to see how we could really use technology to distribute knowledge in healthcare, to really make patients more partners than just simple consumers that consume what a doctor tells them.”
“The Antidote: Inside the World of New Pharma” by Barry Werth
Recommended by Manny Simons, 38, CEO of Akous.
“There are very few companies that have done what Vertex has done: started from scratch and continued to grow as a self-sustained company,” Simons said of the book, which details the trajectory of Vertex Pharmaceuticals as a sequel to Werth’s first book “The Billion-Dollar Molecule,” about Vertex’s founding.
“To have somebody who was embedded at the earlier stages and then come back later, you get a real appreciation for how complex it is, how many people need to be involved,” he said. “It spans even as big as Josh Boger’s role and his vision was, how the company grew beyond him.”
“The Billion-Dollar Molecule” by Barry Werth
Recommended by Justin Klee, 29, Amylyx co-CEO.
“He does a really great job of capturing what it’s like being at a small biotech and the challenges,” Klee said of author Barry Werth.
“The Impatient Dr. Lange” by Dr. Seema Yasmin
Recommended by Danielle van Manen, 39, COVID-19 vaccine project leader at Johnson & Johnson.
“Epidemics are not only about doctors and science, it’s also about how you listen to your patients, treat your patients, and try to be inclusive,” van Manen said. “This book is more than only a biography, and more than an HIV history, it’s everything, and it shows how driven some people can be.”