A newsletter from the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU Langone Health
October 1, 2021

Introducing Medical Humanities in Secondary Schools

There has been little discussion of how and why to teach the broader field of critical medical and health humanities outside of postgraduate and undergraduate medical education. Tanya Sheehan draws on her experience of teaching “Medicine and Society” to adolescents in a US summer school in 2021 to explore the value and implications of introducing the field into secondary schools.

Humanism in Healthcare Research Roundup

The Gold Foundation's latest Jeffrey Silver Humanism in Healthcare Research Roundup highlights articles about gender differences in burnout and professional fulfillment, the basic science of patient-physician communication, how simulation-based methods affect empathy, and more.

Sharing Stories Through Art: Promoting Resident Connection During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

Rachel E. Korus and Danielle G. Rabinowitz discuss the benefits of collective arts engagement and issue an appeal to "develop opportunities for resident physicians to participate in art-making or viewing, be it through writing, photography, drawing, or music. Empower trainees to share their work and reflect upon it."

How Irving Berlin’s Blue Skies Turned to Blue Days

Each month, Dr. Howard Markel's column for PBS NewsHour highlights the anniversary of an important event that gives us a slice of medical history. His latest piece looks back at prolific American composer and lyricist Irving Berlin, his struggles with depression, and his gradual retreat into seclusion.

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

New Annotation:
Jacalyn Duffin on The Conjure-Man Dies by Rudolph Fisher

"Fisher was an African-American physician-author whose clever novel contains only African-American characters, including the physician and the detective."

The Patient Was Like My Dad in Two Telling Ways: Age and Sex

Samuel Dubin, MD, formerly a Rudin Fellow in Medical Ethics and Humanities and currently a primary care resident at NYU Langone, writes about how a dying patient made his own father's mortality hit home.

Support the Literature, Arts, and Medicine
Database and Magazine

As someone who is interested in Medical Humanities, we hope you will join us in support of the Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database and Magazine. One of the core components of NYU Langone’s Division of Medical Humanities, LitMed is an open access collection of more than 3,000 annotations of works of literature, art, and performing arts that provide insight into the human condition. Please make a gift today. Learn more.

The Burns Archive Photo of the Week

Fluoroscopy of Exposed Kidney During Surgery, 1897

This photograph is one of the most dramatic images in the history of medicine. It vividly summarizes some of the great advances in medicine of the 1890s, and highlights the emergence of efficacious surgery and the use of the X-ray. Surgeons, unable to visualize the location of a renal stone, would haphazardly slice into the kidney, which resulted in significant morbidity and mortality. Early X-ray machines were not strong enough to detect a stone. English surgeon Edwin Fenwick resolved this problem by advocating fluoroscopy to find the stone during surgery. The organ, still attached, was removed from the body and fluoroscoped. In March 1897, only one year after X-rays began to be used in medicine, he described his innovative method. However, Fenwick noted that it would not be possible to remove the kidney from the body in those with short blood vessels, and the surgeon himself cannot perform the fluoroscopy, as he would need to adapt his eyes to darkness for at least ten minutes, delaying the procedure. Surgery in this era was done without masks or gloves, but with aseptic technique.

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


Quick Links

Calls for Submission & Other Opportunities

Families, Systems, & Health: Sharing Our Stories section
Have a reflection about the pandemic, about health equity, about the care you provide or a favorite patient? The editors of the Sharing Our Stories section of Families, Systems, & Health curate medical humanities pieces that utilize creative writing to capture key experiences of wellness, illness, healing the health care system, and/or standout moments in healthcare. Submissions should not exceed 1,000 words and may take the form of a personal narrative, a poem utilizing any format including free verse, haiku, or a 55-word story. Pieces will be peer reviewed based on fit with the journal mission, use of well-crafted language, and the impact of the narrative. Contact department co-editors Dr. Jo Marie Reilly ( or Dr. Hugh Silk ( if you have questions. Learn more about the journal and submit through this link: Families, Systems, & Health


Events & Conferences


4th Annual Advocacy In Medicine Conference: The Ongoing Impact Of COVID-19

A virtual event hosted by The New York Academy of Medicine, in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Compassion Fatigue: Facing Stress & Grief in Healthcare


Let's Jam, The Arts in Medicine series

Improvisation for Caregivers with Kelly Leonard and Anne Libera

ASBH’s 23rd Annual Conference

Program Theme: Bioethics and Humanities at the Crossroads
Virtual Meeting

Healing/Arts Workshop

Multidisciplinary artist and poet-critic Kara Laurene Pernicano will share a trauma-informed approach to graphic medicine (the use of comics to tell personal stories of disability, illness, and health) through her own work in poetry comics.

Building Mindfulness and Resilience in a Changing World

7th Annual Narrative Medicine Free Zoom Event, presented by Narrative Medicine Program, Advocate Aurora Health

Resilience During a Pandemic and Beyond


National Organization for Arts in Health
5th Annual National Conference:
“The Art of Resilience”

Created for artists, arts administrators, healthcare professionals, designers, educators, students and anyone with an interest in arts in health, the NOAH conference is designed to provide opportunities for participants to exchange ideas, gain applicable knowledge, build connections and energize developments for the future of the field.

"What the Language of Science Cannot Capture: Modern Medicine and the Need for Narrative."

A talk by Dr. Naomi Rosenberg

The Examined Life Conference

Enjoy discussions and presentations on how the arts can be used in medical education and patient and provider care. Through November 20.

The Need for Narrative: Grappling and Reckoning with These Times

This new narrative medicine basic workshop invites you to join the narrative medicine international community in bringing our creative resources to the task of locating ourselves in these unprecedented times and exploring the power of narrative work to bring our experiences into focus. Earlybird pricing through TODAY, October 1st.

Gold Writing Workshops with Judith Hannan

Author Judith Hannan will be holding a Fall edition of the Gold Writing Workshop, with four sessions on Fridays: Oct. 29, Nov. 5, 12, 19, from noon to 2 p.m. ET. Writing workshop participants must agree to attend all four sessions. This workshop is particularly focused on supporting healthcare professionals and students. Nurses, doctors, and all healthcare team members of any discipline are welcome.

William C. Stubing Memorial Lecture: Confronting the Public Health and Ethical Challenges of COVID-19

Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Christine Grady, Chief of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center
Sponsored by the NYU School of Global Public Health and The Greenwall Foundation
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