Presented by John Harper, MD


History of Medicine:

William Osler (site), Henry Welch (Bio, JHMI site, monograph), Flexner ReportNLM Medical History site


Sinclair Lewis, first American Nobel Laureate in Literature

Book list

Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis

The Citadel by A.J. Cronin

Middlemarch by George Eliot

Ferrol Sams

Run With the Horsemen by Ferrol Sams

The Whisper of the River by Ferrol Sams

When All the World Was Young by Ferrol Sams


Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder




Aequanimitas: With other addresses to medical students, nurses and practitioners of medicine by William Osler

Osler's "A Way of Life" and Other Addresses: With Commentary and Annotations by William Osler

Bryson City Tales by Walt Larimore, MD

Richard Selzer

The Doctor Stories by Richard Selzer (esp. "Imelda")

Mortal Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery by Richard Selzer


Robert Coles

Children of Crisis by Robert Coles

The Call of Stories : Teaching and the Moral Imagination by Robert Coles



The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams, Vol. 1: 1909-1939 and Vol. 2: 1939-1962

On Doctoring: Stories, Poems, Essays by Richard Reynolds, MD, John Stone, MD


Collected Essays

Annals of Internal Medicine Series "On Being a Doctor..."

Bryant. SB Kendrick and RB Weinberg. Ann Intern Med. 2002;137:770-771.

Smell. B DiGiovanna. Ann Intern Med 2002; 137: 768 - 769.


Archives of Internal Medicine Series on Humanities

What Do Good Doctors Try to Do? JW Hurst. Arch Intern Med 2003; 163: 2685.



JAMA Collections: Humanities

Cognocardiology. RH Falk. JAMA 1993; 269: 2601.

Playing the Moonlight Sonata From Memory: Celebrating the Wonders of Our Difficult Life. Lawrence J. Hergott, MD. JAMA 2002; 288: 2516 - 2517.


Anne Hudson Jones, Ph.D. Hobby Family Professor in the Medical Humanities at UTMB

Literature, Arts & Medicine Database. Review in Annals Int Med.

Literature and Medicine: An On-Line Guide. R. Charon and M. Montello. Ann Int Med 1998; 128: 959-962.


Literature and Medicine Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press



Other cultural medical icons

Television: Scrubs, E.R., Grey's Anatomy


  1. Essay: Humility and the Practice of Medicine. James T. C. Li, M.D., Ph.D. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 1999; 74: 529 - 530.
  2. A Christmas Gift. Robert Penn Warren. Short stories. The Virginia Quarterly Review.
  3. Gaudeamus Igitur. John Stone, M.D. JAMA April 1, 1983; 249, No. 13
  4. Lancet: Literature and Medicine Series including "Literature & Medicine Physician Writers.: Lancet 1997; 349: 564-567.
  5. I Heard a Fly Buzz When I died. Emily Dickinson. Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson. Published Avenal (NY) 1892
  6. Literature in the Education of the Doctor. Kenneth C. Calina. Lancet 1997; 350: 1622-24.
  7. Cardiology Rounds. Nikola Biller. Lancet Vol. 354. June 24, 1999.
  8. Heart Attack. Joanna Watson. Lancet Vol 340. March 1996.
  9. Isn't. Jack Couleher. Lancet Vol 340. March 1996.
  10. Doctor, I Can't ... I Won't Have a Baby. A. J. Cronin. from Adventures in Two Worlds. McGraw Hill (NY) 1952 Edition.
  11. The Challenge of Becoming a Distinguished Clinician. Edward C. Rosenow III, G.D. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 1969; 74: 635 - 637.
  12. Empathy Revisited. Dean Granakos. Arch Int Med 1996; 156: 135.
  13. Literature & Medicine - Physician - poets. Anne Hudson Jones. Lancet 1997; 349: 275-78.
  14. He Makes a House Call. John Stone. Lancet 1997; 349: 277.
  15. Literature & Medicine. Origins & Destinies. Peter Charon, M.D., Ph.D.
  16. The Second Tree from the Corner. E.B. White. New Yorker 1948.
  17. Where Are the Clinical Role Models? Arch. Internal Medicine 1990; 150: 259.
  18. Humanism and the Art of Medicine. Alan R. Nelson. JAMA Sept 1, 1989; 262: 228.