Physician in Family Medicine

Class of 2012

“As a soon-to-be resident physician in Family Medicine, people often assume I spent the majority of my undergraduate years studying biology and chemistry.  While basic science courses are important, on a day-to-day basis, I was far more prepared for the art of medicine by my non-science courses. In particular, English, Creative Writing, and Comparative Literature courses helped me learn how to think critically about concepts like illness, disability and mortality– a daily affair in medicine. Like journalists, physicians doggedly pursue clues to piece together a story of illness.  Where does it hurt, and for how long, and how did it start?  Who takes care of you at home?  Do you have a place to sleep?  Do you feel safe?  And then perhaps the most important question: Why?  Test results cannot answer “why” the way a well-researched and well-written story does.  A number does not hold a patient’s hand, grieve, or rage at a bad outcome.  It is the arts, and in particular the literary arts, that give people the avenue to examine our humanity. I have chosen a career in Family Medicine precisely because it is field where stories are valued.”