2013 Literature and Medicine Series Begins in Wilmington, Asheboro, Asheville

Hospital liaisons and facilitators gather in Greensboro to plan Literature and Medicine 2013.

Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Health Care has begun at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, Randolph Hospital in Asheboro, and Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville. The participants began meeting in January and will continue through June. At these monthly sessions, healthcare professionals, from chaplains to physicians, share a meal and discuss literature that relates to the experiences of healthcare.

The program encourages participants to connect the worlds of science and lived experience, giving them the opportunity to reflect on their professional roles and relationships through plays, short stories, poetry, fiction, and personal narratives in a setting where they can share their reflections with colleagues. It has a significant effect on the way participants understand their work, their relationships with patients, and with each other.

One participant, both a cancer survivor and hospital administrator, said of the program: “In hospitals we rarely sit together across disciplines. So we need every vehicle to break out of our departmental boundaries.”  Another participant and physician stated, “It was a gift to be able to use the readings to look at common medical experiences from a variety of perspectives, and gain insight into the small struggles that make up our daily work. For me, the readings helped foster a mindfulness that at all times we are performing a human service.”

A sample syllabus can be found here. If you are interested in bringing Literature and Medicine to your hospital or medical center, contact Donovan McKnight at 336-334-4770 or dmcknight@nchumanities.org.

Photo Caption: Hospital liaisons and facilitators gather in Greensboro to plan Literature and Medicine 2013.