A newsletter from the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU Langone Health
July 10, 2020

Humor in Health Care

"To some, not much is funny about illness and injury. To others, there seems to be a lot to joke about..." The latest issue of AMA Journal of Ethics focuses on this tension, with articles on how to use humor in clinical settings, how The Second City comedy theater developed training modules in collaboration with hospitals and healthcare programs, and more.

A Brief History of Ventilation

As ventilators continue to play an important part in helping very ill coronavirus patients, medical historian Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris traces their development from the first attempts at mouth-to-mouth resuscitation through centuries of medical crises.

Narrative Humility or Empathy?

"While physicians can certainly co-create and co-construct a narrative with a patient, the difference between narrative humility and empathy revolves around control and power..." Marcus Mosley examines how patient-physician communication may be approached from different perspectives, including narrative medicine and philosophy.

Humanism in Healthcare Research Roundup

The Gold Foundation's latest Jeffrey Silver Humanism in Healthcare Research Roundup highlights articles about the correlation between adverse childhood experiences and professionalism in trainees and physicians, how the COVID-19 outbreak affected the mental health of resident physicians in China, and more.

Highlights from Projects in the Humanities
at NYU Langone Health

New Annotation: Dustin Brinker on Dr. Futurity by Philip K. Dick

"Dr. Futurity, despite its precarious foundation in time travel, acts as a clear intersection of race, gender, and medicine."

Art & Anatomy

Art & Anatomy: Drawings tells the story of an innovative anatomy drawing class in the Master Scholars Program in Humanistic Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Visit the companion website to learn more about the book and the class, plus view a gallery of images by medical students and healthcare professionals.

Calls for Submission & Other Opportunities

American Society for Bioethics + Humanities (ASBH) Early Career Advisor Program
The ASBH Early Career Advisor Program gives individuals early in their career in bioethics or the humanities the opportunity to present a paper or project to more experienced members of ASBH virtually at the 2020 Virtual ASBH Annual Conference. To be considered for participation, applicants must be:

  • a member of ASBH
  • less than 7 years since completion of post-graduate training [e.g., MA, PhD, fellowship]
  • not currently enrolled in a graduate program
  • below associate professor rank

Early career members of ASBH are invited to submit a completed application including a 500 to 750-word abstract/summary of the proposed paper or project and a curriculum vitae by July 24, 2020. More information.


Events & Conferences


Accidental Discoveries: Medicine

The history of science is riddled with stories of accidental discoveries. In this edition of Accidental Discoveries, from Atlas Obscura, you’ll hear about the happiest of often-wacky mishaps in the history of medicine that revolutionized anesthesia, vaccinations, treatments, and even the way we understand the human body.
* TONIGHT at 5:30pm EDT

Medicine, Narrative, Pandemic, and Power

How can narrative and the humanities help us understand this pandemic? And how can they make medicine smarter, more equitable, and more effective? Join this free conversation from the Modern Language Association.

The Story Collider's First Science Story Slam


Fireside Chat with Dr. Ira Byock & StoryCorps’ David Isay

Social-distancing restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic have created a longing for human connection – particularly for quarantined patients, frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable communities. Two complementary programs on opposite ends of the country are providing essential connections when they’re needed the most.

‘The Origin Story of New York’s Public Health System’ Webinar

Flashback to the summer of 1793. With Philadelphia under attack from an invisible enemy called Yellow Fever, a group of leading doctors in New York City got together and convinced the government to block all ships from the nation's then-capital. Realizing that quarantining would not be enough, and to control this deadly disease, the city and state began enacting sanitary protocols on a scale never before attempted — this is the story of how protecting the health of New Yorkers got its start over 200 years ago.

Narrative Medicine & The Creative Impulse

Hosted by the Division of Narrative Medicine at Columbia. Early Bird Registration of $50 off tuition through September 18. Standard registration open through October 16th, space permitting.
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