Category: A Different Take

Theatrical Reading Gives Viewers New Perspective on 'End of Life'
by Stacy Bodziak

As agonized screams poured from the stage, it was evident to the audience that this was not a typical seminar. On Thursday, October 26, Theater of War Productions brought an innovative and emotionally charged project to NYU Langone Health. In a performance entitled “End of Life,” actors drew the audience into a world of suffering patients and conflicted caregivers through readings of ancient Greek tragedies- Sophocles’ Philoctetes and Women of Trachis. Led by Bryan Doerries, the project’s artistic director and [read more]

Why Physicians Die by Suicide
by 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 recently published “Why Physicians Die by Suicide: [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
by Howard Trachtman, MD

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]

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]

The Patient Experience Book Club at NYU Langone Medical Center

When an AP reporter called to tell Erika Goldman, publisher of the Bellevue Literary Press, that its novel, Tinkers, by Paul Harding, won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, “it was akin to receiving a blow to the head,” she said. “It was concussive.” For the first time since 1981, a book published by a small press won the award. Ms. Goldman told this story to the members of the Patient Experience Book Club at NYU Langone Medical Center, a [read more]

Wherever You Go: Self-Representation and Williams Syndrome

Jess Libow is currently a summer intern at the Bellevue Literary Review. She is a rising senior English major at Haverford College interested in disability studies. All photos courtesy of camp staff Looking out over the dance floor at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon as other members of our group line danced with the crowd below, Mark told me “It’s good for us to get out into the community so that people know we exist.” As a counselor this past June at [read more]

The Social Construction of Cancer - Part 3

Editor’s Note: This is the third of four installments from guest blogger Dwai Banerjee, a doctoral candidate in NYU’s department of social anthropology. Images illustrated by Amy Potter, courtesy of Cansupport. Part III In a later visit with the homecare teams, I met Rajesh – a 29-year-old man who has been battling cancer since his teenage years. The walls of his room in a dense middle-class neighborhood were bare but for two pictures – one of a Hindu deity and [read more]

The Social Construction of Cancer - Part 2

Editor’s Note: This is the second of four installments from guest blogger Dwai Banerjee, a doctoral candidate in NYU’s department of social anthropology. Images illustrated by Amy Potter, courtesy of Cansupport. Part II However, at this point, Shambu and Rohini’s story took a sharp turn. The palliative care team I was visiting with discovered that, partly because of not collectively acknowledging the extent of the disease, Shambu and Rohini had started visiting a new neighborhood private ‘ayurvedic hospital.’ This hospital [read more]

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