Danielle Ofri gives highly engaging lectures to both medical and non-medical audiences on a wide range of topics. There are no slides, Powerpoint, or handouts–just lively discourse and compelling human stories.


Upcoming Appearances

Strand Bookstore–watch the video
Broadway and 12th St, NYC
Monday, Feb 6 at 7 pm

Barnes & Noble Bookstore
Broadway and 82nd St, NYC
Wednesday, Feb 8 at 7 pm

St. Louis County Library 
St. Louis, MO
Monday, Feb 13 at 7 pm

Salt Lake City, UT
Thursday, March 9 at 6 pm

New York Public Library–listen now
hosted by WNYC’s Mary Harris

Monday March 13 at 7:15 pm

NYU Bookstore
Wednesday, March 22 at 6 pm

American College of Physicians
San Diego, CA
Monday March 28 at 9 am

Books and Bagels
28 Gramercy Park South
Sunday April 2 at 10:30 am

Amsterdam, Holland
Chasse Theater, Breda
Monday, April 10, 9 am

Tel Aviv University
Ramat Aviv, Israel
Wednesday, April 19, 4 pm

Columbia, MO
University of Missouri
Wednesday, April 26 at 7 pm

Chicago, IL
Northshore Hospital
Thursday, May 11 at 8 am

Boston, MA
Harvard University
Poetry and Medicine Symposium
Saturday, May 6 at 3 pm

Miami, FL
University of Miami
Medical Humanities Institute
Saturday, May 20 at 5 pm

New York, NY
Bellevue Hospital
Tuesday, June 20 at 3:30 pm

Livingston, NJ
Healthcare Foundation of NJ
Monday, July 17 at 6 pm

Boston, MA
Governance Institute
Tuesday, Aug 8 at 8 am

San Diego, CA
University of California, San Diego
Wednesday Sept 6 at 1 pm

Orlando, FL
University of Central Florida
Friday Sept 15 at 1 pm

Rochester, NY
Memorial Art Gallery
Monday, Oct 2 at 5:30 pm

New York, NY
Columbia University Medical Center
Wednesday, Oct 25 at 10:45 am

Pittsburgh, PA
UPMC Shadyshide
Thursday, Nov 16 at 12 pm

Lecture Topics

What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear (and Vice Versa): The Highest Stakes in Medicine

The Power of Words: Despite modern medicine’s infatuation with high-tech gadgetry, the single most powerful diagnostic tool in the medical armamentarium is the doctor-patient conversation. However, what patients say and what doctors hear are often two vastly different things. Patients feel an urgency to “make their case.” Doctors multitask while patients speak and miss key elements. Add in stereotypes, unconscious bias, conflicting agendas, and fear of lawsuits and the risk of misdiagnosis and medical errors multiplies. This presentation examines whether refocusing the caregiver-patient conversation can lead to better health outcomes.

The Amygdala and the Stethoscope: Do Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine?

Emotions, Caregivers, and Patients: Despite our commitment to the scientific method, doctors are not nearly as rational and evidence-based as we tell ourselves that we are. Emotions permeate our clinical decision-making, whether we choose to acknowledge this or not. The presentation offers an unflinching look at the how emotions affect caregivers and the medical care they are able to give their patients.

Patient Safety and the Human Condition

A Culture of Safety: Patient safety is a critical issue in medicine today. There is, rightly, a strong emphasis on systems approaches to improving medical care and decreasing error. However, medicine is fundamentally a human endeavor, and in the end it is people, not systems, who cause medical errors. Without attention to the human aspects of the medical enterprise—emotions, respect, relationships—crucial aspects of patient safety will remain beyond our grasp.

Surviving Medicine in the 21st Century

Inspiration in Medicine: Disillusionment in medicine feels like it is reaching epidemic proportions. Doctors and nurses say they would never choose the field if they had to do it all over again. Medical error and burnout seem to be everywhere. But it might be too soon to close the book on the medical profession. This presentation examines the impact of disillusionment, highlighting strategies for re-engaging caregivers, combating burnout, and thriving in the new era of medicine.

Why Would Anyone Become a Doctor?

Medicine Today and Tomorrow: Medicine is increasingly portrayed as a field that no one in their right mind would consider: the debt burden for medical students is gargantuan, regulations strangulate the practice of good medicine, litigious patients lurk in every corner, doctors are disillusioned in droves. Is this all really true? This presentation is geared toward an undergraduate and general audience, examining the current state of medicine, focusing on what it really means to be a doctor today, and why some of us wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Medical Error: Why We Don’t Own Up

Medical Error and the Ethics of Apology: As evidence mounts about the human cost of medical error, society is scrambling to find ways to contain this “epidemic.” At the heart of the issue is how to coax a culture of secrecy and guilt into the light. Do doctors and nurses have the capacity within themselves to come forward and admit these errors? This presentation explores how medical personnel face the delicate issue of apologizing to a patient, and how patients might consider the framework of medical error.

Medicine in Translation: Journeys With our Patients

Multiculturalism and Diversity: Like all areas in our culture, medicine faces many challenges in our multicultural society. Stereotypes can subtly undermine medicine’s commitment to patient care. With a candid assessment of how biases infiltrate medicine, this presentation focuses on creative ways to bridge cultural gaps.

Tools of the Trade: Old and New Technologies in Medicine

Technology in Medicine: Technology is transforming medicine at a breathless pace. From computerized treatment algorithms to electronic medical records, every aspect of medicine has been refashioned by the digital revolution. This presentation digs into the technologies of medicine—some ancient, some disarmingly simple, some revolutionary, and some impressively overwrought—to examine the impact of this ongoing metamorphosis, and what it means for the doctors, nurses and patients who must navigate it.

A Singular Intimacy: Connecting the Bridge between Doctor and Patient

Bringing Back the Humanity to Medicine: Despite enormous advances in healthcare, patients and doctors alike are dissatisfied with their experience. So much of medicine has been boiled down to rote algorithms and assembly-line care. Seeking inspiration from the gripping narratives of urban medicine to the unlikely poetry of the ICU, this presentation probes the most fundamental aspect of medical care—how doctors and patients connect.

The Good Doctor: Chekhov or Monday Night Football?

Medical Professionalism: Professionalism is a hot-button issue in the medical world. As the field comes under assault from all corners, health care workers can feel besieged and demoralized. Seeking inspiration from Chekhov, Sports Illustrated, and the legions of patients in a doctor’s life, this presentation strives to help caregivers avoid becoming ungrounded and losing their sense of self. An unusual look at medical professionalism.

For Whom do We Write?

Doctor-Writers: An Epidemic? More than any other field, medicine seems to inspire writing. Doctor-writers seem to be everywhere these days, giving rise to a new set of ethical dilemmas. This presentation illuminates the inherent connections between story-telling and medicine in a way that is accessible to a wide-ranging audience.

Why Should Lawyers Care What Doctors Feel? A Risk Management Primer

Malpractice and Medical Error: Lawyers tend to meet up with doctors only in the charged setting of medical malpractice, when doctors are radically changed from their usual selves. Geared toward risk managers, this presentation examines the how doctors commit errors, hide errors, and alter their medical practice because of errors. It digs deep into the harrowing experiences of physicians who’ve experienced medical error and malpractice suits, illuminating the powerful emotional challenges to all who are involved.