A newsletter from the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU Langone Health
May 15, 2020

How Pandemics End

An infectious outbreak can conclude in more ways than one, historians say. But for whom does it end, and who gets to decide?

Thriving in Scrubs

News around the world tells the story of how the COVID-19 epidemic has changed all of our lives. But how does it feel for those working in the heart of healthcare? The latest episode of the Thriving in Scrubs podcast features a pulmonary and critical care fellow at NYU Langone Health.

Comic: Hospitals Sing Patients Home

Call them victory anthems. Every time a patient with COVID-19 is well enough to be discharged, hospitals in New York and elsewhere play songs of celebration over the intercom. A doctor explains.

Learning to Talk

In this narrative medicine essay, a resident physician recalls the joy she felt while learning the formal language of medicine as a student and anticipates the lifelong joy of learning to interpret that language in ways most helpful for her patients.

Highlights from
Division of Medical Humanities Projects
at NYU Langone Health

BLR Featured Essays: Physician Voices

The BLR features a mix of voices, including compelling essays written by doctors. Among the standouts:

New Post: "High Anxiety: Going Viral?" by Howard Trachtman, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Co-editor, LitMed Database

Jenny Offill’s new book, Weather, was released in the middle of February, right before the COVID-19 pandemic exploded into the communal consciousness.  In his timely essay, Howard Trachtman writes, “Offill’s book succeeds in humanizing anxiety and reduces the sense of isolation that can compound the worry and fears that affect all of us living in the 21st century.”

At Home with the NYAM Library

The New York Academy of Medicine Library team has made several materials free and available to all during this time. Explore the following:

Calls for Submission & Other Opportunities

Covid Grief Outreach
Covid Grief Outreach is seeking submissions for an online collection of creative works reflecting pandemic grief. As Covid-19 has disrupted social support programs across the world, many are left to grieve in isolation from their communities. This online collection provides a virtual peer-to-peer network to connect actively bereaving individuals through creative expression and mutual empathy. As grief during this unprecedented time can arise through many avenues, these submissions may be uploaded in your medium of choice and may reflect grief through many contexts including the loss of a loved one, a job, a community, or an identity. Please follow this link to upload your work to this cause and explore their current collection.

Comics in the Time of COVID-19
This edited collection seeks to bring together a range of creative work, along with practice-based and critical reflections on what it means to make, share and read comics in the time of COVID-19. Bridging the fields of comics studies, memoir studies, graphic medicine and data storytelling, this collection also aims to explore our definitions of ‘what counts’ as graphic medicine and graphic storytelling. The editors invite submissions in the form of comics, graphic chapters, interviews and other alternative formats, along with more traditional academic chapters. Please submit a 300-word abstract, script, or description of your proposed contribution to by May 31, 2020. More information.


Events & Conferences


Nevertheless She Existed: Women in Medicine


Music and Mind Live with Renée Fleming


MedHumChat: Emotional Strength While Facing Uncertainty

Exploring "Emotional Strength While Facing Uncertainty" in a #MedHumChat curated by Dr. Margot Hedlin
(9:00pm-10:00pm, Twitter)

Atlas Obscura: Amabie and Japanese Creatures of Contagion


MedHumChat: Life in Lockdown

Exploring "Life in Lockdown" in a #MedHumChat curated by Drs. Becca Omlor and Anoushka Sinha
(9:00pm-10:00pm, Twitter)

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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