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All posts by Vidya Viswanathan

Why Doctors Write: A Documentary

Why Doctors Write: Finding Humanity in Medicine is an upcoming documentary film about the intersection of medicine and literature, created by Emmy award-winning producer/director Ken Browne. Among many themes, the film documents the tradition and motivation of physician-writers, how art is joining science to become a part of modern

Finding Creativity in Medicine

Last month, I participated in my first medicine-related “Story Slam,” at the AMSA (American Medical Student Association) convention in Washington, D.C. I had to speak for about 5 minutes, without notes and without sounding like a robot, about my path to choosing medicine as a career.

Writer-in-Residence at a Hospital

Suzanne Koven, MD, MFA is a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and writer-in-residence for its division of general internal medicine. She received her B.A. in English literature from Yale and her M.D. from Johns Hopkins, as well as her M.F.A. in nonfiction

Writing is the Least Squeaky Wheel

Christine Montross, MD, MFA is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and the Director of Counseling Resources at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and a staff psychiatrist at Butler Hospital. She received her undergraduate degree and her MFA in poetry from

Scaling Healthcare Innovation

Sachin Jain, MD, MBA is the Chief Medical Officer for the California-based Medicare healthcare company CareMore. Prior to this role, Dr. Jain was the Chief Medical Information and Innovation Officer at the global pharmaceutical company Merck, focused on leveraging digital health and data. He was also an attending

Writing on Race and Medicine

Damon Tweedy, MD, JD is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and staff physician at the Durham VA Medical Center. He is a graduate of Duke Medical School and Yale Law School. His first book, Black Man in a White Coat:

Writing to Improve Patient Safety

Robert M. Wachter, MD is Professor and Associate Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and also Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine and Chief of the Medical Service at UCSF Medical Center. In April, he released his sixth book, The Digital

Writing, Behind the Mask

Kathryn A. (Kathy) Hughes, MD is a general surgeon and blogger who has spent the majority of her career in private practice in community hospitals. She blogs at Behind The Mask, where she shares experiences from her surgical career and life. She is a Fellow of

3 Lessons – Abraham Verghese’s Commencement Speech

Abraham Verghese is a physician of many talents. He teaches internal medicine at Stanford, he writes opinion pieces, and he has published two memoirs and one novel. Many know him for the celebrated 2009 novel Cutting For Stone, which reached the New York Times bestseller list. Verghese also has a unique

Majoring in Medicine, Minoring in Design

Bon Ku, MD, MPP is an emergency medicine physician and associate professor at Thomas Jefferson University. He teaches design thinking to medical students as a co-director of the design track at Jefferson’s medical school. This track, called “College within a College—Design,” launched this year with fifteen students.

The words that changed McAllen

There are some pieces of journalism that are so gut-wrenching that they can have immediate effects. The recent investigative series on the terrible conditions of nails salons that came out in the New York Times, for example, was so horrific that it caused the governor of New York to, within 3

Doctors Shouldn’t Feel Alone

Jennifer Joe, MD, is a Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) nephrology graduate turned physician entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Founder of Medstro.com, an innovative social network for physicians. Dr. Joe founded Medstro and its sister site MedTech Boston (a site

Structure and Poetry

In a recent interview I read in the Harvard Gazette, poetry professor Helen Vendler discusses her inspiration for becoming an expert on poetry. Vendler was the first woman to be named a University Professor at Harvard. Much of her inspiration for studying poetry, it turns out, comes from

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