A newsletter from the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU Langone Health
September 24, 2021

The Strength of Our Stories: A Qualitative Analysis of a Multi-Institutional GME Storytelling Event

In this recent piece, Maren E. Olson and co-authors probed whether an oral storytelling event for GME trainees and faculty could be an effective approach for promoting well-being and resilience among participants.

Boosting Vaccine Confidence With the Arts

The Vaccine Confidence Arts Response Repository is getting creative to combat vaccine hesitancy, using partnerships with artists to deliver educational information in a way that engages the public and allows people to consider the messaging from a different perspective.

Drink less, exercise more and take in the air – sage advice on pandemic living from a long-forgotten, and very long, 18th-century poem

In 1744, a Scottish physician named John Armstrong sought to educate the public about matters of health and wellness through his various writings. Melissa Schoenberger, a teacher and scholar of 18th-century poetry, describes Armstrong's “The Art of Preserving Health,” a 2,000-line poem divided into four books: “Air,” “Diet,” “Exercise” and “The Passions.”

Integration of Arts and Humanities in Medical Education: a Narrative Review

This narrative review, by Rachel Smydra, Matthew May, Varna Taranikanti & Misa Mi, aims to identify and review the extant literature describing methods and outcomes of embedding the arts and humanities into medical school curricula.

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

New Annotation:
Cortney Davis on Queen of the Sugarhouse by Constance Studer

“Even when the author is writing of life outside the hospital or the sickroom, her knowledge of our fragile bodies and vulnerable minds are evident—as is her understanding of the complexities of human existence and desire.”

The Long History of Vaccine Mandates in America

David Oshinsky, PhD, director of the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU Langone, bring past and present together, showing us how Covid-19 pandemic has revived a debate over public health and individual liberty that goes back to colonial times.

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

Psychiatric Nurses Demonstrate Bandaging, circa 1905

Photography swiftly became an essential tool to illustrate medical advancement, competence, and achievement, which began a tradition of health care practitioners being photographed with the latest medical developments and technologies. These images indicated to the public that practitioners were up to date and offering the best medical care available.
       In the 1890-1910 era, the staff at many hospitals took photographs such as this to dramatically demonstrate their use of ‘general nursing principles.’ Psychiatric hospitals had few procedures that would illustrate proficiency in ‘general nursing.’ As psychiatric patients were prone to injury more than any other medical patients, one way to imply that the nursing staff had acquired expertise was to display their ability to apply the wide variety of dressings used in general medical practice. By skillfully bandaging wounds, these nurses provided evidence of their training in modern medical procedures.
       Previously, the only qualification required of an old-style nurse had been an “aptitude for nursing,” as noted by psychiatric historian Henry Mills Hurd, MD (1843-1927), in his 1916 landmark text, The Institutional Care of the Insane in the United States and Canada: “In the care of the sick aptitude for nursing has hitherto been regarded as the only qualification. But within ten years to aptitude has been added training by a systematic course of instruction, and the result is the old-grade nurse has been completely driven from the field… In fact, I have no doubt that within a decade no attendant will be employed in a state asylum in this state who has not certificates from a training school.”

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


Quick Links

Calls for Submission & Other Opportunities

The National Endowment for the Humanities invites public nominations for the agency's two major awards: the National Humanities Medals and the Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities. The deadline for both nominations is October 15, 2021.


Events & Conferences


Aging Across America:
A conversation with artist Jeffrey Levine, MD


Leonardo da Vinci: A Union of Art and Science


Opening Night of Reimagine's Fall Season: "Grief, Growth and Action"

Join Dr. BJ Miller, musician Gina Harris, & comedian Chris Garcia, for an evening about how facing the hard parts of life, together, can transform adversities into meaningful growth.

Poussin’s Narcissus: An exercise in interdisciplinary psychoanalytic inquiry

A talk by Adele Tutter

Voices from the Pandemic

Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Eli Saslow launches his new book, Voices from the Pandemic, for which he interviewed a cross-section of Americans, capturing their experiences in real time.

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

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.

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.

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 October 1st.

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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