Literature & Medicine
The study of history, literature, and culture helps provide a broad context for the disciplines of science and medicine. Literature in particular opens us to new worlds and allows us to bear witness to the lives of others. For medical caregivers working in an increasingly multicultural world, literature can also offer new ways of understanding and responding to patients and their families.
“I enjoyed the evening and am looking forward to more evenings of discussion. I see only positive ripples generating outward from here.” ~ Kathy
Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Health Care™ is an award-winning program offered by Humanities Councils in 26 states around the country, including Delaware. Begun 20 years ago in Maine, Literature & Medicine offers scholar-led reading and discussion groups that use works of fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction to explore what’s at the heart of healthcare.
Participants come from all branches of medical care, including nurses, physicians, support staff, administrators, clergy, social workers and therapists in hospitals, home health, hospice, and public health settings. Some programs also admit members of the general public. In a study conducted at the US Veterans Administration, participants reported an 82% increase in empathy, a 61% improvement in job satisfaction, and a 59% rise in cultural awareness*.
“The readings were great and thought-provoking. Seems like a good group of people able to dig into the texts.” ~ Tim
If you are a medical organization or professional interested in offering a Literature & Medicine program at your facility, please contact Ciera Fisher.
If you are interested in participating in the program, please contact us. All of our sessions are open to the public.
On April 4, 2018, the sessions at the Department of Health and Social Services in New Castle will begin. You can register here for this program.
On April 17, 2018, sessions will begin again at Bayhealth in Dover. If interested in this program, please contact Ciera Fisher.
Doctors, Revolt! from The New York Times is an example of a work we have read and discussed. Some titles we have used in sessions include:
How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman
What Doctors Feel by Danielle Orfi
Writer, M.D. Edited by Leah Kaminsky
The Not Dead and the Saved by Kate Clanchy
How We Do Harm by Otis Webb Brawley
The Shift by Theresa Brown, RN
Do No Harm by Henry Marsh
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
*Program Evaluation, Literature & Medicine Program, Healthcare Facilities, United States Department of Veterans Affairs by Dr. Bruce B. Clary, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, 2011.