A newsletter from the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU Langone Health
July 31, 2020

Abolition Medicine

"Who do you serve, who do you protect?" In this recent artice, Yoshiko Awai and colleagues note that this question "is one that demands answering by health professionals more urgently now than ever," as they explore the health disparities exposed by COVID-19, and how to reimagine medicine as an anti-racist practice.

COVID-19 Pandemic Response: Development of Outpatient Palliative Care Toolkit Based on Narrative Communication

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the immediate need for primary palliative care education for many clinicians. In this recent paper, Benjamin Roberts, MSN, RN, and colleagues describe their efforts to develop a practical palliative care toolkit using a narrative approach.

Before Compassion: Sympathy, Tact and the History of the Ideal Nurse

"The word ‘compassion’ is ubiquitous in modern healthcare. Yet few writers agree on what the term means, and what makes it an essential trait in nursing...." In this article, Sarah Chaney explores the evolution of the concept of compassion in nursing.

In Pictures: Visualizing Viruses & A History of Medical Masks

Recent stories in The Wellcome Collection showcase how images of the antigens that make us sick have evolved over time, and how face masks have undergone many revolutions in design over the centuries.

Highlights from Projects in the Humanities
at NYU Langone Health

New Annotation:
Dustin Brinker on Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe

"Despite my qualms, Brave Story is a wonderful piece of literature that provides much insight into the adolescent mind for use in broaching topics such as racial discrimination, religious zealotry, childhood divorce, and radical acceptance."

Featured Post:
Medicine as Spectacle

Rachel Martel, a 4th-year medical student at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, explores how physicians have been depicted through the ages: "Whether these representations are in paint or on screen, they provide evidence that as society has changed, so too have expectations of what the medical profession can provide, and how medical professionals should behave."

Calls for Submission & Other Opportunities

Doctors Who Create Seeks Submissions About Creativity in Medicine
Doctors Who Create, a podcast about creativity in medicine, is looking for audio submissions for its September 2020 episode. If you want a chance to be featured, send a 1-3 minutes audio clip (.mp3) to by Friday, August 14th, 2020. Some questions to answer: Who are you? What is your creative outlet? What are the challenges to being creative in medicine? If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Doctors Who Create through their Facebook page.


Events & Conferences


Voices From the Front Lines: An Open Mic

All are invited to join Erin Reeve, MD, a palliative care physician at Cedars-Sinai, in a virtual open mic on Zoom as we hear stories, songs, and reflections from healthcare workers who have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘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.

Trauma Studies, Creativity, and the Second Generation


Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

A talk by writer and professor Nicole R. Fleetwood, as part of Columbia's Narrative Medicine Rounds

Writing as Craft in the Time of COVID-19:
A Virtual Creative Writing Retreat for Healthcare Professionals


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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