Stanford Center for
Biomedical Ethics

Medicine & the Muse Program
Medical Humanities and the Arts

Program features and updates


May 2015

  • Congratulations to Charlotte Jacobs on the release of Jonas Salk: A Life. Check out her interview on NPR here.

  • Stanford Storytellers: Medical students write a children’s book to comfort and educate. Read more about the most shared and most popular story on Stanford Medicine Scopblog here.
  • Read about Dr. Irvin Yalom in this interview on the Huffington Post.
  • Read about our talented medical students and Dr. Perri Klass at this year’s Medicine & the Muse Symposium,  themed “Triumph and Transformation” in this Scope blog.

April 2015

  • We are deeply saddened to report that Larry Zaroff, MD, PhD passed away on April 20, 2015 at age 83. Larry was an original member of our Steering Committee and most recently a member of our Affiliated Faculty. Larry dedicated himself to teaching medical humanities and advocated for opportunities for students to pursue studies in medical humanities at Stanford for over 15 years. He was a key person in the development of medical humanities at Stanford, including a visiting professor fellowship project. He taught the core medical humanities course for Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities scholarly concentration medical students, The Human Condition, and mentored medical students in creative writing medical scholars projects. Larry was devoted to teaching undergraduates, and his courses in literature and medicine and other areas of medical humanities were always popular in the Human Biology Program. He cared deeply for each student’s wellbeing. He was a most beloved teacher.
    Larry Zaroff

  • Congratulations to Zahra Sayyid, Michael Nedelman, Karen Hong, Afaaf Shakir, and Emma Steinkellner on their children's book, Stanford Storytellers, scheduled for release this summer!

    Written by a group of Stanford medical students and illustrated by undergraduate Emma Steinkellner, this book shows a young girl’s fantastical reimagining of the hospital as she looks for her teddy bear. As she becomes more familiar with the medicines and machines around her, she begins to understand that the hospital is a place for her to get better. But will her teddy bear feel the same way? Stanford Storytellers cover

  • Read about a recent performance co-sponsored by Stanford's Medicine & the Muse Program exploring the theme of war through poetry and dance in this Scope blog.
  • Stanford medical student and BEMH concentrator Michael Nedelman has been selected as the 2015-2016 Stanford–ABC News Global Health Media Fellow. Launched by the Center for Innovation in Global Health (CIGH), the Fellowship emphasizes the production and impact of global health reporting in a variety of media platforms. During the upcoming year, Michael will train at the World Health Organization in New Delhi, the Stanford Graduate Program in Journalism, and ABC News in New York City.

    Congratulations to Michael Nedelman on being chosen from a national field of applicants for this highly competitive fellowship.
    Michael Nedelman photo

  • Read MD/PhD student Amrapali Maitra's blog post about After the rain: Experiencing illness as a medical student and granddaughter in Scope blog.

  • Susan Edelman, psychiatrist and member of Pegasus Physician Writers, has been awarded the 2015 Beverly Hills International Book Award Grand Prize Winner and 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award Winner in Relationships for her book, Be Your Own Brand of Sexy.

  • Read about the how ballet promotes healing for ex-Marine, Roman Baca in this article on

  • Read in Inside Stanford Medicine about our April events encompassing dance, poetry and anatomy of an opera singer!

March 2015

 February 2015

  • Congratulations to Genna Braverman, Bioethics and Medical Humanities concentrator, on her recent recognition for research in medical communication!
    Stanford medical student Genna Braverman won "best poster" at a recent meeting for her work examining communication challenges medical students encountered.

  • Announcing the winner of the 2015 first annual Irvin D. Yalom Literary Award:
    Maya Kasowski
    Maya Kasowski, PhD, MS3

    Ashley Pin-Yi Geo
    Runner up: Ashley Pin-Yi Geo

    Please click here for Maya and Ashley's winning stories.

  • Congratulations to Pegasus Physician Writers co-founder Dr. Irv Yalom, on the publication of his story in the Sunday New York Times!

January 2015

  • One of our Biomedical Ethics and Humanities academic courses, Art Observation Skills, was mentioned in this New York Times article. The course was developed by Drs. Audrey Shafer and Sam Rodriguez, medical student Genna  Braverman and art history doctoral student Yinshi Lerman-Tan and is being offered this spring.

    See quote below from Connie Wolf, the director of the Cantor.

    “Although no exhibitions of the Warhol material at Stanford are scheduled until 2017, the contact sheets will be used this spring, along with images by the 19th century English photography pioneer Eadweard Muybridge, in a class at the Stanford University School of Medicine aimed at enhancing the clinical skills of medical students through analysis of art.” Ted Loos, “For Warhol, ’15 Brings More Fame, NYT Jan 4, 2015.

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

  • At the Oct. 21st Jonathan King Lecture, Paul Kalanithi, MD, who completed his neurosurgery residency at Stanford, discussed the importance of writing as a physician and patient. Dr. Kalanithi wrote about his experience as a patient diagnosed with lung cancer in the  New York Times. Dr. Kalanithi is working on a book about his experience.
  • Five medical humanities presentations from the Stanford program were featured at the 2014 American Society for Bioethics and Humanities annual conference: Kendall Madden, MS, ecosystem and metaphors of the body (a BEMH medical scholars research project); Shaili Jain, MD, ethical issues for physician writers; Jacqueline Genovese, MA, literature and medicine programs for veterans; Alvan Ikoku, MD, PhD, global health ethics and fiction; and Audrey Shafer, MD, poetry and anesthesia. Additionally, medical student Deborah Fretwell presented her BEMH medical scholars research project on issues of high tech resources and patient narrative at the 2014 national meeting of the Association for the Behavioral Sciences and Medical Education.
    Kendall Madden, MS with her poster
  • Congratulations to Shaili Jain, M.D whose research work and interview with Paul Costello were recently covered in Inside Stanford Magazine.
  • Congratulations to BEMH graduate Casey Means, MD on the publication of her poem C-section in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
  • Medicine & the Muse 2013 Student Committee Member Hamsika Chandrasekar writes in SCOPE Blog about taking time out from a busy life to do what you love.

September 2014

  • The recent Pegasus Physician Writer’s Forum was reported on in SCOPE Blog.
  • Dr. James Lock, a member of Pegasus Physician Writers and the first School of Medicine faculty member to be named a Stanford Humanities Center Fellow is interviewed on this podcast about his work with teenage children with anorexia. Parents can work with therapists to help their teenage children recover from anorexia, according to the largest randomized trial comparing two family-based treatments for the eating disorder. During this 1:2:1 podcast, James Lock, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Comprehensive Eating Disorders Clinic at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, discusses the study with Paul Costello, the medical school's chief communications officer.
  • Congratulations to Rick Novak, MD, Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, whose book, The Doctor & Mr. Dylan, was recently published.
  • The medical humanities and the arts calls attention to the importance of the human connection in our health care system. The importance of this connection is described eloquently by Tim Engberg, vice president of ambulatory care at Stanford Health Care in this video about his experience as a patient at Stanford.
  • Medical student and Stanford Medicine Music Network member Sara Johansen will be playing violin at Party on the Edge in the Anderson Gallery on Oct. 2nd at 9:30 p.m.  Congratulations Sara!
  • Dr. Bryan Bonham leads Stanford’s WellMD committee, which focuses on promoting physician, resident and medical student wellness.                           
  • Congratulations to Dr. Jason Nagata, a recent Writer’s Workshop participant, whose article The Patient Rotation, was recently published in JAMA Pediatrics
  • Join us in congratulating Khaled Hosseini, MD, last year’s Medicine & the Muse Key Note Speaker, on winning the prestigious Steinbeck Award. Congratulations Khaled!

  • Pegasus Physician Writer Sunita Puri’s recent essay Extraordinary was published in this month's JAMA. JAMA. 2014;312(8):793-794.

July 2014

  • The Revolutionary Optimists has been nominated for a National Emmy Award in News and Documentary Long Form.
  • Medical student Michael Nedelman and his documentary project “Camouflage Closet” are in this SCOPE Blog
  • The Pegasus Physician Writer’s Forum “I Am Afraid I Have Bad News: Death and Dying in Medicine,” is featured in today’s School of Medicine SCOPE Blog
  • Congratulations to Medicine & Muse Program affiliated faculty member Susan McConnell, who was recently named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute professor.
  • Medicine and Muse Program Steering Committee member Dr. Alvan Ikoku research on literature and transnational medicine was featured in the Stanford Report.

June 2014

  • Congratulations to Michael Nedelman, a BEMH concentrator, whose poster recently won second prize in the Art of Science competition sponsored by the School of Engineering, In addition, Michael’s documentary, Camouflage Closet, which will be shown today at 5:30 p.m. in LKSC, was featured in the Boise Weekly.
  • Congratulations to Jasmina Bojic, Stanford Lecturer and Founder and Executive Director of the United Nations Association Film Festival. Jasmina was awarded UNESCO’s Fellini Medal in recognition of her exceptional contribution in promoting the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through the art of documentary film.

May 2014

  • Congratulations to Medicine and the Muse Steering Committee Members Pin Yi Ko and Anjana Bala. After graduation from Stanford School of Medicine, Pin Yi will be entering internship and residency in pediatric neurology at the University of Washington. Anjana Bala, a Human Biology major, and after graduation will be moving to London to purse a master’s degree in medical anthropology at University College London.
  • Read about medical student and BEMH concentrator Natalia Birgisson's blog post, Introduction to the ICU: My grandfather's passing gift in Scope Blog.

April 2014

  • Congratulations to Pegasus Physician Writers member Dr. Jim Lock, who was awarded the Ellen Andrews Write Fellowship by the Stanford Humanities
    . His project will be reconsidering Michel Foucault's critique of psychiatry in the age of the brain and neuropsychiatry.

  • Read about the Medicine and the Muse and Khaled Hosseini in Scope Blog and The Stanford Daily and view photos here.
  • Read Dean Minor’s article in the Stanford Daily about the importance of humanities and medicine
  • On April 17th, Dr. James Chang will present: Inside Rodin's Hands: Teaching Surgery Through Art and Art Anatomy at 6:30 p.m. in the Cantor Arts Center. Watch a video about Dr. Chang's work here
  • Read about Dr. Josef Parvizi's presentation at Med School 101 on Scopeblog. Parvizi, will be presenting with Dr. Chris Chafe (Music) on the Brain Stethoscope at the April 29th Recombinations seminar.

March 2014

February 2014

  • Read about the Recombinations Seminar "Literature and Medicine at the End of Life" in the School of Medicine ScopeBlog (scroll down).
  • Hamsika Chandrasekar is a member of the Medicine and the Muse 2014
    committee and in the Creative Writing for Medical Students course. Her recent blog post, "The Top Reasons I am Glad to be in Medical School," was the most popular and shared story on the School of Medicine Scopeblog.
  • AHMP Affiliated Faculty Member and upcoming Recombinations speaker Dr. James Chang is featured with a new Cantor Art Museum Exhibit, Rodin's Hands.

  • AHMP Steering Committee member Dr. Shaili Jain commented on the 60 Minutes News Program on Mental Health in her Public Library of Science Blog.

January 2014

December 2013

  • AHMP Affiliated Faculty member Professor Tanya Luhrmann wins the 2013 Grawemeyer Award in Religion from the University of Louisville for her book When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God





  • The Sacramento Bee published an op-ed by medical student Akhilesh Pathipati on why healthcare spending is so high.
  • Congratulations to medical student and BEMH concentrator Aarti Sharma on the publication of her book, Diabulimia: Towards Understanding, Recognition, and Healing. Aarti is also co-editor-in-chief of the medical student journal H&P

November 2013

September 2013

  • Stanford medical school doctors explore the human condition through creative writing
  • The latest book of 2012 Medicine and the Muse Keynote Speaker, Sheri Fink, MD PhD Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm Ravaged Hospital is published to critical acclaim and is a NYT bestseller.




  • Congratulations to Pria Anand, SMS IV and BEMH concentrator, on the publication of her short story “Commotio Cordis” in Bellevue Literary Review. 2013: 22-30.
  • My First Patient by Casey Means, Stanford medical student and BEMH concentrator, is published by The Intima. Congratulations Casey!

August 2013

  • The Arts, Humanities and Medicine Program welcomes Jacqueline Genovese, MA, as Assistant Director. Jacqueline holds a masters degree in medical humanities from the University of Texas Medical Branch and a bachelor’s degree in history from College of William and Mary. She has two decades of administrative university experience in communications, development and media relations.

July 2013

June 2013

  • Amrapali Maitra (MD and PhD candidate, BEMH student) wins the Bernard J. Siegel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Written Expression by a Ph.D. Student in Cultural and Social Anthropology
  • Congratulations to Michael Nedelman, SMS I on the spectacular premiere of his film The Camouflage Closet June 5, 2013, in San Francisco! A packed house, and an amazing creative work which included LGBT veterans, filmmaking, music and a moving introduction by Heliana Ramirez, LISW.
  • Medical student Katie Miller and SCBE Senior Research Scholar Katrina Karkazis publish their work on health practices and attitudes in a polygamist society in the Journal of Religion and Health: Miller AC, Karkazis K. Health beliefs and practices in an isolated polygamist community of Southern Utah. J Relig Health. 2013 Jun;52(2): 597-609. 

April 2013

March 2013

  • Medical student and BEMH concentrator Woody Chang’s article “Fit to Print? Media Accounts of Unproven Medical Treatments Across Time” is published in AJOB Primary Research, 2013
upcoming events

Toward Healing: Literature & Medicine Dinner and Discussion series for Stanford and UHA Physicians. Please click here for more information.

Winter / Spring 2015

SCBE Brown Bag
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 3pm

Laurel Braitman, Ph.D. 

"We Are All Terminal: History, Medicine and the Animal Inside"

Biomedical Ethics Conference room
1215 Welch Road, Modular A
Stanford, CA  94305-5417
Directions PDF 

"A Literature Scholar on Life and Lacunae in Academic Medicine"
Date: May 28th, 12:00p-1:30p
Location: Wallenberg Hall (360), CESTA Conference Room (4th Floor, Room 433A)
Speaker: Kimberly Myers (Department of Humanities at Penn State College of Medicine)

The Senior Reflection: Annual Exhibition of Student Works

Annual Exhibit opens
Friday, May 29, 2015
4:30pm - 7:30pm

Gallery 160
Wallenberg Hall
Stanford University

Undergraduate student Ryoko Hamaguchi’s exhibit
“Re-Imagining Illness, Health and the Human Body”
June 2nd
at 1 p.m.
Cantor Arts Center Auditorium

Stanford Med Writers Forum Featuring Readings by The Pegasus Physicians at Stanford

Medicine Around The World: Healing From A Global Perspective

Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 5:30pm

The Stanford Humanities Center
This Event is Free & Open to the Public

Supported by the Medicine and the Muse Program, Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, Stanford School of Medicine

Walking Tour of the Stanford University Medical Center Architecture
January 7, 2015 – June 10, 2015

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 3:20 PM

ways to give gifts

A gift may be made in the form of a check, securities, a bequest, or a complex trust arrangement designed to maximize tax advantages. Checks should be made payable to Stanford University.

For information about ways to give, please contact:
Anne Crowe, Assistant Director, Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics
(650) 498-5305

All contributions welcome!

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