Medicine and the Muse

Cover illustration by Jeffrey Fisher c Stanford Medicine

“In this biomedical revolution, we need the humanities now more than ever.” – Lloyd B. Minor, MD, Dean, Stanford University School of Medicine

Writing, poetry and art have been comforts to me throughout my work and personal life. I know their power as meditative processes that relieve physical and mental stress, enhance mental acuity and decision-making, and improve self-image. Artistic pursuits may not cure but they do heal.

When I recently transferred to Stanford Health Care I was delighted to find that there is a serious commitment at Stanford University and Stanford Health Care to incorporate the arts into care for patients and into physician training, going beyond the usual poetry and art classes for cancer victims that are offered by some health care organizations.  Stanford is even using dance with Parkinson’s Disease patients.

Stanford Magazine

The winter issue of Stanford Medicine featured articles on the intersection of medicine with the arts and humanities. You can read these articles online. The winter issue was produced in collaboration with Stanford’s Medicine and the Muse program.

The entire magazine is available online.

6 thoughts on “Medicine and the Muse

  1. Thanks, Jamie, for sharing this. I just spent the last hour engrossed in articles that impacted me deeply – from challenging me to think more deeply in how I manage color when editing photographs to thinking about the challenges of integrating chronic pain and maintaining a functional lifestyle that is “good enough”. The articles I read about children with chronic pain and debilitating skin conditions humbled me. With all this feeding my brain and soul, the only thing that could make this moment better is a cold drink. I’m on my way to the kitchen. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Would this be a good thing? I know I felt some of it was difficult, but also felt there were things I needed to think about and so I thought to share it … and, as I said, I’m glad they’re doing more with the arts for patients and docs.

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      1. Yes – it was a good thing, for the reasons you mentioned. As a poet, you know that it is good and necessary to touch those parts of ourselves and our world that may create uncomfortable feelings. Keep up the good work, Jamie.

        Liked by 1 person

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