The Human Condition Curated

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New Blog post on the NYU LitMed Blog

Learning Empathy through Chekhov
Reflections on the Importance of Dramatic Arts in Medical School Curricula
by Alicia Stallings, DaShawn Hickman, and Nick Szoko
Introduced by Guy Glass, MD

Mark A. Clark on Alfred Lord Tennyson's Tithonus

"Tithonus is a dramatic monologue that imagines the once handsome, magnificent Trojan prince to be well-advanced in an unfortunate state brought about by negligent gods and his own lack of foresight. "

Audrey Shafer on The Wound Dresser by Jack Coulehan

"This collection of poems by physician Jack Coulehan provides a wide range of themes, forms, times, locations and sensibilities. It is the work of a master of the art – this is his sixth poetry volume –  whose career in medicine, writing, health humanities and medical education surfaces in many of the poems.”

Russell Teagarden on The Father by Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller

“The Father is the story of an older man with Alzheimer’s disease (André) and his progression through first living on his own, then living with his daughter (Anne), and finally living in a nursing home. Or, is it? It’s hard to tell, and that is the intention of the playwright...”

Marilyn McEntyre on Snowball in a Blizzard: A Physician's Notes on Uncertainty in Medicine by Steven Hatch

"The aim of these reflections on uncertainty in medicine is not to discredit evidence-based medicine or to incite suspicion of the careful and caring processes by which most clinicians arrive at the advice they give.  Rather it is to change conversations among practitioners and between them and their patients in such a way as to raise everyone’s tolerance for the inevitable ambiguities and uncertainties we live with.“

Gretl Lam on Little Angel by Matt Sesow

“The artist, Matt Sesow, suffered a horrific trauma at the age of 8, when an airplane propeller sliced off his left arm. Although doctors tried to reattach the limb, his left hand could not be saved. Sesow has learned to channel the anger, grief, and intensity from this physical and emotional trauma into his paintings, which are raw and dark and vivid.”
Painting credit: Matt Sesow

Russell Teagarden on We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas

"While epic in nature, the novel offers two particular insights on the dementia experience. One centers on all the minute-by-minute struggles Alzheimer’s can thrust upon its sufferers and their caregivers. The other concerns the many forms denial can take and how they can manifest at different times during the course of an illness."  

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Total Database Contents

  • 170 Visual Art Annotations
  • 2673 Literature Annotations
  • 253 Performing Art Annotations
  • 94 Artists
  • 1711 Authors
  • 140 Keywords