8 Films Every Health Professional Student Should Watch

I don’t know about you, but some films can really leave a mark. Over my journey, I have watched many medically related films but these 8 continue to surface to the top of my memory. Next time you need a pick-me-up, choose one of the following:


Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 biographical war drama film directed by Mel Gibson. The film focuses on the World War II experiences of Desmond Doss, a combat medic who refused to carry or use a weapon or firearm of any kind. Doss was the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor.


Something the Lord Made is a 2004 biographical drama film directed by Joseph Sargent. This film is about Vivien Thomas, a cardiac pioneer, and his complex partnership with Alfred Blalock, a pioneer of modern cardiac surgery.


Patch Adams is a 1998 comedy-drama film directed by Tom Shadyac. This film is based on the life story of Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams who built and ran the free community hospital, Gesundheit Institute, in West Virginia.


Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a 2017 film directed by George C. Wolfe. The film is based on the best-selling book by Rebecca Skloot and documents the story of Henrietta Lacks whose cancer cells (HeLa cells) changed the course of cancer treatment forever.


The Heart of Nuba is a 2016 documentary directed by Kenneth A. Carlson. This film focuses on Dr. Tom Catena who has served at the Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan.


Code Black is a 2014 documentary film directed by Ryan McGarry. As an ER resident, McGarry gives a first-person reflection of his own training at the Los Angeles County General Hospital.


Burden of Genius is a 2017 documentary film directed by Tjardus Greidanus. This film focuses on Dr. Thomas Starzl, the father of transplantation, as he navigates criticism and creativity in his journey to perform the world’s 1st liver transplant.


Bending the Arc is a 2017 documentary film directed by Kief Davidson and Pedro Kos. It tells the story of Partners in Health and doctors and humanitarians, Jim Yong Kim, Ophelia Dahl, and Paul Farmer, who are devoted to innovative health care in impoverished nations.


What’s your favorite medically related film?



1828 Total Views 6 Views Today

Komal Kumar

Komal Kumar obtained her MPH in Epidemiology & Biostatistics from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is a researcher, public health advocate, and a 2017-2018 Fulbright Scholar to South Africa.