A newsletter from the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU Langone Health
July 17, 2020

Five Advances That Followed Pandemics

Diseases have devastated human populations, but they've also inspired social upheaval and innovations, from improved patient care and protective gear to great works of art.

Eradicating Racial Injustice in Medicine—If Not Now, When?

In this narrative medicine essay, Randy A. Vince Jr., MD, a fellow in urologic oncology at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, offers five actions the medical community should take to eliminate racial injustice and health disparities in the United States.

Artificial Intelligence and Medical Humanities

What role can medical humanities research play in addressing concerns about the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare? This piece by Kirsten Ostherr highlights several areas―including social determinants of health, narrative medicine, and technological mediation of care―to examine the intersections between the humanities and AI.

New Issue:
Hektoen International

The latest issue of Hektoen International features articles on people ranging from Albert Sabin to "The Elephant Man," and on topics including the importance―and scarcity―of personal narratives of the 1918 influenza pandemic; how we can be less culturally tone-deaf; and a history of the mustard seed, from its "dark side" to its health benefits.

Highlights from Projects in the Humanities
at NYU Langone Health

New Annotation:
Katie Grogan on Ask Me About My Uterus: A Quest to Make Doctors Believe in Women's Pain by Abby Norman

“Norman’s memoir puts in stark relief the barriers in place when a young woman seeks help for an under-researched gynecological problem within a medical system still reckoning with its patriarchal norms and values.”

PrEP and the Judgment of Prevention

This personal narrative by Samuel Dubin, MD, a recent graduate of NYU Grossman School of Medicine and a former Rudin Medical Ethics and Humanities Fellow, explores how prevention efforts can marginalize patients by stigmatizing certain behaviors, making it critical to distinguish individual professionals’ preferences about those behaviors.

Calls for Submission & Other Opportunities

Creative Expressions in Times of Extremity
The AAMC, in partnership with StoryCorps and the National Endowment for the Arts, is collecting stories (both oral and written) and poetry from health care professionals relating to their experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic and racism and persistent inequities in America. By chronicling these, they aim to honor our community, provide outlets for creative and expressive thought, and continue to integrate the humanities and the arts in medicine. Learn more.


Events & Conferences


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 UnLonely Project Creative Social

Dive into one of the stories from the UnLonely Film Festival in this virtual gathering. Participants will all watch the selected film together, then share how it impacted them as well as do a creative exercise related to the story.

Science Riot: A Night of Stand-Up Comedy


‘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.

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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