Why Physicians Die by Suicide

An interview with author Dr. Michael F. Myers Dr. Michael F. Myers is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn and a specialist in physician health. In April, he and his associate Carla Fine were invited to speak to a group of first and fourth year medical students, faculty and staff about physician suicide at a session of “Why Wellness Matters,” a para-curricular course in medical humanities at the NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Myers [read more]

Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital

Gabriel Redel-Traub interviews Dr. David Oshinsky Last month, I had the pleasure of sitting down with David Oshinsky, director of the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU School of Medicine. He is the author of Bellevue:Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital and won the Pulitzer prize for his book Polio: An American Story. Gabriel Redel-Traub: Dr. Oshinsky, thanks so much for meeting with me. David Oshinsky: My pleasure. GRT: I really enjoyed reading your new [read more]

Lincoln in the Bardo in the Bardo/ by Russell Teagarden

Russell Teagarden is an Editor of the NYU Literature Arts and Medicine Database and helped lead the Medical Humanities elective at the School of Medicine this past winter. In this blog post, he experiments with creating a text collage from recent reviews of George Saunders novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. Author’s note: George Saunders is well known for his inventive and affecting short stories. Lincoln in the Bardo is his first novel, and as described by Charles Baxter in his [read more]

Reading Lolita in Residency

Howard Trachtman, MD Department of Pediatrics NYU School of Medicine Throughout history, reading books has often been viewed with deep suspicion by figures in authority. The Dominican priest Girolamo Savonarola collected and publically burned thousands of objects including books on February 7, 1497 in Florence, Italy, an infamous episode that has been recorded as the Bonfire of the Vanities. The books were condemned as temptations to sin. Russian dissidents put their lives on the line to gain access to books [read more]

The Knick by Gregory Clark

“The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same” When I first watched The Knick two years ago, it seemed like a show about the past and the rapid pace of medical discoveries in the early days of modern medicine, before antibiotics, when patients were still brought into the hospital on an ambulance pulled by horses. When I watched the fictional Dr. Thackery using electricity for the first time in his operating room, I couldn’t help but sit back [read more]

Posthumous Portraiture Exhibit at the Folk Art Museum

By Gabriel Redel-Traub There is something eerie about walking into the Folk Art Museum’s posthumous portraiture exhibit. The last line of the introductory panel to the exhibit reads: “We cannot help but hear them whisper ‘remember me.'” This sentiment rings true. The exhibit is split into three rooms and filled with portraits of apparently posthumous subjects. I say apparently, because to a 21st century viewer, nothing in these portraits would indicate that the subjects were dead at the time they [read more]

Learning Empathy through Chekhov

Guy Glass, MD, MFA, Clinical Assistant Professor Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics Stony Brook School of Medicine I am a psychiatrist who writes plays and has several professional productions and published plays to my credit. Having recently earned an MFA in theater from Stony Brook University, I am now affiliated with the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. At both Stony Brook, and starting this fall at Drexel, [read more]

Richard Selzer and Ten Terrific Tales

Richard Selzer and Ten Terrific Tales by Tony Miksanek, MD Family Physician and Author, Raining Stethoscopes If there were a Medical Humanities Hall of Fame, physician-writer Richard Selzer (1928-2016) would be a first-ballot selection. And likely by a unanimous vote. The diminutive doctor had a very large presence in the field. He energized the medical humanities movement in the 1970’s and 1980’s with his lectures, readings, writing workshops, commencement addresses, correspondence, personality, and kindness. But it was his writing – [read more]

States of Grace: From Doctor to Patient and Back Again

Katie Grogan, DMH, MA and Tamara Prevatt, MA, Master Scholars Program in Humanistic Medicine, NYU School of Medicine   Before the accident, Dr. Grace Dammann was a caregiver through and through, in every aspect of her life. A pioneering AIDS specialist, she co-founded one of the first HIV/AIDS clinics for socioeconomically disadvantaged patients in San Francisco at Laguna Honda Hospital. She was honored by the Dalai Lama with an Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award for her service and devotion to [read more]

NYU Center for Humanities Event Imagining Illness: Pulitzer Prize Winners on Truth and Fact in Narrative David Oshinsky and Paul Harding

By J. Russell Teagarden On a recent winter’s evening, Pulitzer Prize winners David Oshinsky and Paul Harding appeared together at the NYU Center for Humanities in an event cosponsored by the NYU Division of Medical Humanities and the Bellevue Literary Press. Erika Goldman, the publisher and editorial director of the Bellevue Literary Press, moderated the session. Jane Tylus, faculty director of the NYU Center for Humanities, provided opening and closing remarks. The evening also had support from the Pulitzer Prize [read more]

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