Can poetry make you a better doctor?

I found a treasure! There is an International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine coming  up in London, England on May 12. An international gathering to just talk about poetry and medicine!!! Themes include the intersection of medicine and poetry in history, the effect of illness upon poetry and, conversely poetry upon illness. Read more about it here

Linked to the conference I also found an article that explores whether poems make one a better doctor. You can read the article here. According to the authors, Johanna Shapiro and Sarah Mourra:

...[poetry] can help medical students by offering a unique method for re-examining self, others, and the world.

…poetry about going through medical education and the nature of doctoring can help students who feel isolated or are experiencing burnout. It can also provide insights into the socialisation process of medical education, and what practising medicine is about. (from BMJ Careers, December 8, 2010)

With this inspiration I did a bit more searching on poetry and medical students. There is a wealth of material out there.

For example, I stumbled upon the book Body Language: Poems of the Medical Training Experience (which you can find on Amazon)

I also found an interesting article by a doctor who dispenses poetry to patients and medical students. It’s called The Poetry Ward.


So let’s hear it for more poetry in the world!

Sam

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One thought on “Can poetry make you a better doctor?

  1. Sam, thanks for bringing all of this to us.
    Marianne

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