An insightful essay written by Gavin Francis about the deep connection between literature and medicine, and how they can be an inspiration to each other. Gavin Francis is a doctor and an award-winning writer. His latest book is Adventures in Human Being (2015). He lives and practises medicine in Edinburgh, and writes for The Guardian, The New Republic, The London Review of Books and The New York Review.


This article published in March in The Lancet by Elena Semino, Joanna M Zakrzewska and Amanda William talks about a fascinating project that aims to explore patients’ experiences of pain with art cards. Will this positively shape the patient-physician interaction? Truly inspiring! 


Rembrandt’s Senses: Lessons in “Perceiving” the Patient, by Christopher C. Muth, MD. This interesting article recently published in JAMA enables us to ponder on the patient-physician interaction, as well as on the importance of observation and reflection. The analysis of the paintings and their connection with the “modern-day clinician” constitute an opportunity to appreciate the links between art and medicine, and the powerful learning tool that art can be for the 21st century physician. 

We must remember that it is not as physicians that we meet the sufferer but rather as persons that we encounter the presence of other persons who suffer.
— Jean Jacques Rousseau (via Dr. Michael Preodor - AAHPM Board Review 2010)

A BOOK TO READ: The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce.
Recommended by: Bryan Vernon

“The title of this book attracted me because we had a family friend called Queenie Hennessy, an eccentric Irish nurse who worked at a London teaching hospital. A further attraction was that Queenie in this novel ends her days in a fictional hospice in Berwick-upon-Tweed having lived for several years in a beach hut in Embleton, less than ten miles north of ours. Queenie looks back on her life, her undeclared love for a married man and a tragedy for which she feels responsible. I was unprepared for the final twist in the story despite a clear clue from its early stages. It is beautifully written with unsentimental characterisation of the hospice staff and residents and a story line that makes you want to read a few more pages before putting it down - and then a few more - and a few more.”



Dancer and medical researcher Jill Sonke explores in this TEDx talk the connection between art in the form of creative expression and health for patients with serious medical illness. Jill Sonke is the director of the Center for the Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida (UF), and Assistant Director of UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine. More about her here



The Doctor Paradox brings us this interesting interview with Dr. Ian William: a physician, comic artist and writer based in Brighton. Through his project he aims to explore the link between art and medicine, and he has also published a graphic novel, “Bad Doctor” (2014).