A newsletter from the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU Langone Health
June 11, 2021

15 Cartoons Docs Can Appreciate

Michael Natter, MD, an endocrinology fellow at NYU Langone Health, is also a talented artist whose work can help teach complex medical concepts, as well as provide a visual document of the stresses and joys of residency training. Here, Medscape features 15 cartoons and commentary by the artist. (Shown above: one of Dr. Natter's pandemic portraits)


Today the hypochondriac is ridiculed and reviled, a figure of fun and an object of scorn. But for centuries, hypochondria was deemed a fashionable, even a desirable disorder. In this series by The Wellcome Collection, six writers look at the past and present of hypochondria. Personal, historical, and political, these essays ask what we might learn from this troubling condition.

Transgenerational Trauma

"Legacies of trauma travel in stories across places and over time..." The latest issue of AMA Journal of Ethics features pieces centered on transgenerational trauma, including what it means to heal, how clinicians should address a patient’s experience of trauma, and more.

Holding a Mirror Up to Nature: the Role of Medical Humanities in Postgraduate Primary Care Training

Gabrielle M. Finn and co-authors explore the value of incorporating medical humanities into formal training, including using an "artistic lens to examine the body, the creation of socially cohesive working environments and supporting the development of empathy within trainees."

Highlights from Projects and People in
Humanities and Ethics at NYU Langone Health

New Annotation:
Howard Trachtman on Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

“Is religion or science best able to deal with the psychological problems that can arise over a lifetime? Yaa Gyasi’s powerful new book aims to answer these perennial questions.”

Featured Article: "All my hurts my garden spade can heal...": Horticultural Therapy, Present & Future

Sebastian Charles Galbo explores the history of the hospital garden, how it shifted from a monastic retreat to organized clinical space, and what role horticultural plays in healing today.

The Burns Archive Photo of the Week

The All-Star Operation, Johns Hopkins Hospital,
October 5, 1904

Photography’s importance in documenting historical medical events was never more evident than at the opening of a new operating room at Johns Hopkins Hospital, on October 5, 1904. Despite being recognized as the leading institution for medical education and advanced surgery, Johns Hopkins had, prior to this time, been equipped with only a makeshift operating table, a relic from the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. It was so primitive that blocks had to be placed under its legs to raise or lower the head. The opening of modern operating rooms, designed by master surgeons and housed in a new specialized four-story building, was a time for rejoicing. It would herald the dawning of a new century in surgical competence and education. To commemorate this event, Surgeon-in-Chief William Stewart Halsted, MD, gathered his senior surgeons for this well-publicized operation.
      This photograph showcases Halsted, America’s greatest surgeon and educator of the twentieth century, as the “operator”; First Assistant, John M. T. Finney, MD; Second Assistant, Harvey Cushing, MD; Third Assistant, Joseph C. Bloodgood, MD; instrument man, Hugh Hampton Young, MD; anesthesiologist, James Mitchell, MD; Nurse Crawford; and, in charge of radiography, Frederick H. Baetjer, MD. Three of the men participating became America’s leaders in their fields: Halsted, general surgery; Young, urology; and Cushing, neurosurgery. In this image, a nurse directly assists the surgeons, a new role for nurses. Previously, they were there only to assist the patient. Their roles evolved and they became responsible for preparing the operating room, setting up instruments, and passing instruments. This operation was a resection of the femur for a patient with osteomyelitis of the upper end of the bone.

With thanks to The Burns Archive for providing historic medical photographs and commentary for this weekly feature


Quick Links

Calls for Submission & Other Opportunities


Events & Conferences


Facing Grief in the HealthCare Workplace


Association for Medical Humanities Conference 2021: Making Space

Held virtually at the University of Limerick, 15-17 June 2021

Virtual: Life and Death in 1918

The Tenement Museum explores what made the flu of 1918 so devastating and how New York City responded to this global crisis.

Emma Goldberg + Mara Gay: Life on the Line

Join New York Times reporter Emma Goldberg for the launch of her new book Life on the Line: Young Doctors Come of Age in a Pandemic. Joining Emma in conversation will be New York Times journalist Mara Gay.

Healing/Arts Workshop with
Megan Hildebrandt & Robin Richardson


The History of Vaccines: How the World Learned Not to Go Viral


Writing the Historical Essay With Hadley Meares

Four Saturday sessions beginning June 19

THE LINE Encore Streaming

First performed live on Zoom on July 8, 2020, the world premiere play was viewed more than 55,000 times in 18 countries during its limited streaming run last summer. Crafted from firsthand interviews with New York City medical first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic, THE LINE cuts through the media and political noise to reveal the lived experiences of frontline medical workers.

Art as Ritual Surrounding Death


Around the Table: Protecting The Mental Health of Frontline Healthcare Professionals: A Call to Action


Gold Human InSight Webinar

"We Are All Perfectly Fine: Lessons On Humor and Resilience" with Alan Alda & Dr. Jillian Horton

Exploring Quarantine w/ Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley


Make your Own Memento Mori: Befriending Death with Art, History and the Imagination

Four-week online course with Morbid Anatomy founder Joanna Ebenstein
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