I got my MD in 1986, and I've been teaching "medical humanities" for over twenty years--but it's never been my primary career. In fact, like most doctors (and medical students), I've always had mixed feelings about the field. Medical education is crowded enough already, without throwing in a bunch of art and lit  courses that may not have the slightest discernible connection to the field--right?

I couldn't agree more. During my own senior year of med school, I was required to take a "Literature and Medicine" course which focused on disease portrayals in the novels of Henry James. At least half of the students snoozed through each session.

Ironically, that's part of the reason I started teaching medical humanities: despite the Henry James fiasco, I was fortunate to have taken other courses which were far more relevant (and interesting!)--convincing me that medical humanities could play an important role despite the pressures and demands of medical education.

Although the science of medicine grows more complex every year, the very best physicians still manage to practice the art of medicine as well. My own career took a sharp left turn shortly after internship; since then, I've spent much of my professional life as a novelist, editor, researcher, and developer of VR simulations and games. That background has helped me to encourage and foster the natural creativity and artistic perception which most physicians share--and which remains critically important to the practice of medicine.


[Home] -[Background] - [Demos & Chats] - [Past Projects] - [Past Reviews] - [ My Strange Career Path] - [ElderQuest]