Writing and Medicine


Patients have always written about the experiences of being ill and of receiving treatment from doctors. Increasingly, doctors also are writing about their patients, and not always to praise them. Journalists are using the experiences of both patients and physicians to explore current problems in the health care system. We will read narrative and argumentative pieces by patients (such as Trillin, Hillenbrand, and Mairs), physicians (such as Gawande, Harper, Ofri, Chen, Khullar, and Mukherjee) and journalist-essayists (such as Specter, Epstein, and Aviv) to get a broad survey of the way these very public conversations among doctors, patients, and other stakeholders have been conducted over the past two decades or so. In this writing-intensive course, students will work on developing their own voices as writers, and on reading and commenting on the writing of their peers. Students will be enrolled from the waitlist; preference will be given to Medical Humanities minors, English majors and minors, and seniors.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; AS WI I; FA HUM; AR HUM; CFH MH

Section 01

Writing and Medicine
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