When Breath Becomes Air PDF Download Free

When Breath Becomes Air

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About When breath Becomes Air PDF

When Breath Becomes Air PDF written by Paul Kalanithi, M.D. A neurosurgeon and writer who grew up in Kingman Arizona before attending Stanford University and graduating in 2000. Paul then later earned an M.Phil in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine from the University of Cambridge. Finally, in 2007 he graduated with distinction from the Yale School of Medicine where he won many significant awards for his exemplary work and research. He then returned to Stanford for residency training in Neurological Surgery, once again receiving awards for exceptional research.

But Paul is no longer with us. He died in March 2015 after being diagnosed with stage 5 lung cancer back in 2003. His memory lives on with us through his outstanding work and this book.



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The Author

When Breath Becomes Air

Paul Kalanithi
Born April 1, 1977
Died March 9, 2015 (aged 37)
Education Stanford University (BA, MA)
Darwin College, Cambridge (M.Phil)
Yale Medical School (MD)
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Writer
Medical career
Institutions Stanford University School of Medicine

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 What’s all the hype about?

December 8, 2019

Based on the thousands of 5 star reviews, and the recommendations of a couple friends, I picked this up. I was mostly disappointed.

I didn’t find the subject matter either profound or even particularly interesting. It’s a fairly matter-of-fact biography of the author, his youth, how he came to practice medicine, and his cancer diagnosis and treatment. Nothing in his writing or his story drew me in or sparked much interest or emotion. So much could have been done with this story, but wasn’t. There’s just no “there” there. Few, if any, life lessons, insights, or gut-wrenching emotional passages.

The best part of the book (and the most compellingly written as well) was the epilogue by the author’s widow, which I thought was ironic given all the gushing reviews of this book and the author.

Recommendation: there’s very little to draw a reader in, and even less in terms of relatability, emotion, and insight. Skip it.


Jonna From NY
4.4 out of 5 stars Who Will Fill Paul’s Place and Mindset Within The Medical Community?

March 11, 2017

What a moving book about such a wonderful person. It is so thought-provoking to read Paul’s descriptions about his own journey through life, medical school, surgery, cancer, and parenthood. I found his beliefs expressed later on in the book a bit confusing – and not even mentioned in the final chapters, when most needed by himself, wife, and others in his life so markedly touched by knowing him. feel like there is a sense of unsettling uncertainty about the most important (albeit seemingly missing) chapter in Paul’s, or any other person’s life reading it – the journey beyond this life, of which he truly seemed to be such a seeker. will not be the same for having read this book, and its eloquent reminder that none of us is guaranteed any set amount of time – to see each day as a gift. The medical world has a visible gap in it with Paul’s passing – who will take up his compassionate mindset and abilities, in his place?


5.1 out of 5 stars Amazing

June 4, 2019

This book is incredibly well written and although it contains a considerable amount of medical jargon it is still easy to read and hard to put down. This really is an incredible book. Paul’s ability to put his experience into words is mind-blowing. For those of you who have had to deal with something like what Paul or his family experienced, this book can offer some insight, and possibly comfort, into what goes through the mind of someone facing imminent death.



September 3, 2018

Loved this book! Definitely a good read for anyone in healthcare. It talks about Pauls transition from a medical student to resident to fellow to cancer patient. There is no miracle that happens just the sad bitter truth about Stage 4 cancer. I loved this book because in the end you remember that death is something we all have to face. It doesn’t matter who you are because we all die. Even in death and the dying process there is life and meaning still to be had and memories to be made. My favorite part was the Epilogue by his wife.


Glenda L Tomaszewski
5.2 out of 5 stars Must Read!

November 20, 2020

This amazing account of a neurosurgeon’s life from each side of the medical fence as a doctor and a patient is incredible. The true account of his medical training, his marriage, his desire to be a father as he faces his own mortality is uplifting and heartbreaking. This is a must read, especially for those who are helping a loved one who is fighting cancer and for those who are battling this horrible disease.


Paula C.
 Excellent read, showing the strength of a family.

February 13, 2020

The book was a true story. So well written. It brought tears to my eyes. I have a dear friend that has just been diagnosed with the disease. I never put the book down, once I started reading.
E. P. Sery
 A must for every physician

July 11, 2021

Paul Kalanithi’s book can only enrich one’s life. It did mine. A must for every doctor who does not have to experience the patients’ illness, only understand and empathize with their feelings, worries and thoughts. Brilliant in its frankness and sensitivity.


Online Shopper
 So profound

July 25, 2021

This book should be the required reading for every human being. Profound and lyrical. Inspirational and rich. Made me sob like no other book. Your story lives on in legacy, Paul. Thank you.



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