A newsletter from the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU Langone Health
April 3, 2020

The Heroic Work of Doctors and Health Workers

The New Yorker features a selection of pieces about medical professionals around the world, including "A Tender Hand in the Presence of Death” by Larissa MacFarquhar, about the difficult and important work of hospice nurses; “Ophelia Dahl’s National Health Service” by Ariel Levy, about Partners in Health's efforts to provide health care and infrastructure to poor regions; and "The Shadow Doctors" by Ben Taub, about courageous healthcare workers in Syria who raced to spread medical knowledge and save patients.

The Epidemic That Preyed on Children

"Although polio is only a memory in the United States, the current pandemic is stirring up feelings analogous to when this insidious crippler terrified a nation. Like the Great Influenza of 1918, polio offers historical perspective..." David Oshinsky, PhD, director of the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU Langone Health and professor of history at NYU, writes of the parallels between past and present epidemics.

Hektoen International: Theme Issue on Blood

Hektoen International's new issue features themed articles that cover the history and impact of the Red Cross, blood banks and blood groups, transfusions, blood preservation, and artificial blood, as well as historical aspects of blood diseases, pioneers in hematology, barber-surgeons, the use of leeches, and legends about blood-sucking vampires.

A Listening Care Package for Uncertain Times

OnBeing with Krista Tippett rounds up a "collection of podcasts, poetry, meditations and reflection for however you’re processing this moment."

Highlights from
Division of Medical Humanities Projects
at NYU Langone Health

BLR Spotlight on Nurses

Celebrate the creative side of nursing with a selection of poems and stories by or about nurses.
"I Want to Work in a Hospital" by Cortney Davis (poem)
"Divination" by Stacy Nigliazzo (poem)
"Sisters of Mercy" by Joan Leegant (story)
"A Brutal Sweetness" by Abby Nance (story)

New Annotation:
Cortney Davis on Mercy by Judith Montgomery

“Every poem in this small collection is strong, moving and informative, a look into a spouse- caregiver's world, one in which all pains are doubled, all sufferings shared with the loved patient yet ultimately experienced alone.”

"And the People Stayed Home"

Kitty O'Meara's prose poem inspired by the coronavirus pandemic—which begins with the line, "And the people stayed home," is going viral.

Calls for Submission & Other Opportunities

#FrontLineFaces: Share Your Photos and Stories
As part of its mission to keep healthcare human, The Gold Foundation seeks to help strengthen connections during this crisis by encouraging clinicians and patients to share photos and stories of their experiences. Research has shown that a warm, strong human connection helps patients heal while also helping practitioners maintain their own well-being, and we need to mobilize every tool available in this historic fight.
      Submit your photos and stories to the #FrontLineFaces project at or post your photo and story on social media with the hashtag #FrontLineFaces. On Twitter and Instagram, please tag @GoldFdtn.

Drawing Together
The Graphic Medicine international conference organizers will be launching a free weekly virtual meet-up called “Drawing Together.” They will provide a Zoom link, a topic, and a group facilitator. All in the world-wide Graphic Medicine community are welcome to join to chat, draw, support one another, and share. Sundays, starting April 5th. Email to register. More information.


Events & Conferences


ReelAbilities Film Festival, New York
Goes Virtual

March 31 - April 6
ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York—the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with disabilities—has decided to go on with the show by shifting its program to a virtual format.

MedHumChat: Illness in the Classics

Exploring "Illness in the Classics" in a #MedHumChat curated by Dr. Perri Klass (9:00pm-10:00pm, Twitter)

Classic Charcoal Drawing: Anatomy


Madness and Medicine on Roosevelt Island


Narrative Medicine & The Creative Impulse

** RESCHEDULED from April 17-19 **
Hosted by the Division of Narrative Medicine at Columbia. Early Bird Registration of $50 off tuition through March 20. Standard Registration open through April 6th, space permitting.
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