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Literature and Medicine

Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Health Care is a national award-winning, hospital-based, reading and discussion program for health care professionals that benefits both them and their patients by improving their communication and interpersonal skills.


The group meets 1 evening a month under the direction of experienced facilitator and humanities scholar Leslie Nyman, fiction writer and former pediatric nurse and health educator. Featured authors include Chekhov, Tolstoy, Williams, Carver and Moore. Participants are asked to commit to attending a minimum of 5 of the 6 sessions.


Created in 1997 by the Maine Humanities Council, by 2007 Literature & Medicine groups had met in more than 90 different health care settings in 19 states. Though the program appears deceptively simple, participants report profound effects: increased empathy for patients, cultural awareness, job satisfaction and respect or their colleagues.


Baystate is offering this program in conjunction with the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities. For more information, visit the MassHumanities website or read Synapse, the program's e-newsletter.