medical humanities

Maladies, Remedies, and Anthologies: Medicine Taken at Its Word

The urge to anthologize seems to be one of those primordial drives, nestled in our genomes alongside the compulsions to eat heartily, imbibe lustily, and slaughter enemies willfully. Or at least that’s how the Greeks appear to have experienced it. More

Chekhov and Public Health

At first glance, it might seem odd that a public health journal would initiate a section about arts and humanities. Public health, after all, deals with populations; it eschews the individual except as it forms one of a group. The creative arts, however, deal almost exclusively with individuals. Literature, in particular, always has a protagonist, and the protagonist is never ‘alcoholics with pancreatitis,’ ‘female prisoners receiving hepatitis B vaccination,’ ‘South Asians with cardiovascular risk factors,’ ‘UK asylum seekers with infectious disease,’ or ‘teenaged asthmatic smokers.’ A protagonist is an individual.
More

The Debilitated Muse

Poetry is a supremely sensory art, both in the imagining and in the writing. What happens when the poet faces illness? How is the poetry affected by alterations of the body and mind. More

Dance and Medicine

It was on a desolate winter evening that I escaped from Bellevue. I plunged the last IV of my day into someone’s vein and then hopped on an M-15 bus uptown, pressing my subway token into the slot with both anxiety and relief. I was in the second year of my internal medicine residency training, the middle year, which is marked by what is charitably called a “dip” in motivation. More accurately, it is a pit, a chasm, an abyss, a Stygian marsh. More

A Conversation with Alan Alda and Frank Stella

Danielle Ofri had the honor of appearing with Alan Alda, Frank Stella, Paula Scher, and Nobel Laureate Gunter Blobel in a panel discussion at Rockefeller University. The topic was “Compelled to Create.” More

An Outbreak of Poetry (and Prose) at Bellevue

The waiting area in Bellevue Hospital was full. Every chair was taken. But the people kept streaming in. More chairs had to be brought in.  It wasn’t clear if the room could accommodate everyone. This wasn’t the emergency room or the clinic waiting area, however. It was the scene of the Bellevue Literary Review poetry … More

Music and Medicine

The moment has finally arrived. After 3 years of sweating through etudes, scales, and Suzuki practice books, my teacher utters the words that every cello student yearns to hear: “It’s time to start the first Bach suite.” Studying cello as an adult hasn’t been the easiest task. But neither is medicine. More

Resistance–Review of Abba Kovner’s poetry

Abba Kovner–leader of the Vilna ghetto uprising–was also a remarkable poet. His book of poems entitled “Sloan Kettering” is well worth the read for its lessons in history, mortality, medicine, and beauty. More

Poetry Ward

Toxic sock syndrome. That’s the first thing we noticed when we entered the hospital room. For those gentle readers who are not familiar with such sensory assault, toxic sock syndrome is the clinical term for the rank odor that accompanies damp, fetid feet that have seen more street time than shower time. More

Another Birth at Bellevue: A New Literary Magazine

For more than 200 years, as America’s oldest public hospital, Bellevue Hospital Center has seen the gamut of human experience and emotion. Birth and death, healing and sickness, bliss and agony are daily occurrences. And now some doctors and others at Bellevue want to mine those experiences in a new way, with The Bellevue Literary Review. More

Books by Danielle Ofri

Subscribe