Reading is an empathic act. (Camilo Mejia, class of 2021)
Reading keeps me sane. (Jennifer Dens Higano, class of 2021)
Criteria for Reading Selective
Thank you for your interest in the Medical Humanities Reading Selective. Please review the criteria below:
Fill out the MMS selective form found here and submit it to your learning management system with a copy to Cynthia Beeler (Rochester campus) or Lisa Marks (Arizona campus). Students should work with the librarian at their respective campus, and contact them ahead of the selective for approval.
Read at least two or three books totaling at least 600 pages.
The books you select should be related to the medical humanities--themes that give you insight into the human condition, suffering, personhood, resilience, historical or personal perspectives on medical practice, etc. Please ask your librarian if you are unsure if your book choice(s) meets the criteria.
Write either one long essay combining your thoughts on all 3 books into the essay, or write 3 one-page essays for each book.
Your essays should not be book reports but your personal reflections--how you changed your mind by reading these books, or how the books opened your eyes to situations you've not thought about before, how they made you think or feel differently about medicine, your career choice, etc.
Send your essays to Cynthia or Lisa by the end of your selective.
Locate at least one peer-reviewed journal article on either a topic from your books or on medical humanities in education. Please consult with Cynthia or Lisa if you need help with searching the literature. Email the citation of the article you found with your essays. Be sure to read the article and be prepared to discuss it.
Schedule a 30-minute meeting via Outlook with Cynthia or Lisa to discuss your essays and article. The meeting should occur the week after the selective, but can be negotiated with the librarian.
The Butchering Art by Lindsey FitzharrisWinner, 2018 PEN/E.O. Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing Short-listed for the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize A Top 10 Science Book of Fall 2017, Publishers Weekly A Best History Book of 2017, The Guardian "Warning: She spares no detail!" --Erik Larson, bestselling author of Dead Wake In The Butchering Art, the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of nineteenth-century surgery and shows how it was transformed by advances made in germ theory and antiseptics between 1860 and 1875. She conjures up early operating theaters--no place for the squeamish--and surgeons, who, working before anesthesia, were lauded for their speed and brute strength. These pioneers knew that the aftermath of surgery was often more dangerous than patients' afflictions, and they were baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. At a time when surgery couldn't have been more hazardous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister, who would solve the riddle and change the course of history. Fitzharris dramatically reconstructs Lister's career path to his audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection and could be countered by a sterilizing agent applied to wounds. She introduces us to Lister's contemporaries--some of them brilliant, some outright criminal--and leads us through the grimy schools and squalid hospitals where they learned their art, the dead houses where they studied, and the cemeteries they ransacked for cadavers. Eerie and illuminating, The Butchering Art celebrates the triumph of a visionary surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world.
Call Number: RD27.35.L57 F58 2017
Publication Date: 2017-10-17
Covering by Kenji YoshinoA lyrical memoir that identifies the pressure to conform as a hidden threat to our civil rights, drawing on the author's life as a gay Asian American man and his career as an acclaimed legal scholar. "[Kenji] Yoshino offers his personal search for authenticity as an encouragement for everyone to think deeply about the ways in which all of us have covered our true selves. . . . We really do feel newly inspired."--The New York Times Book Review Everyone covers. To cover is to downplay a disfavored trait so as to blend into the mainstream. Because all of us possess stigmatized attributes, we all encounter pressure to cover in our daily lives. Racial minorities are pressed to "act white" by changing their names, languages, or cultural practices. Women are told to "play like men" at work. Gays are asked not to engage in public displays of same-sex affection. The devout are instructed to minimize expressions of faith, and individuals with disabilities are urged to conceal the paraphernalia that permit them to function. Given its pervasiveness, we may experience this pressure to be a simple fact of social life. Against conventional understanding, Kenji Yoshino argues that the work of American civil rights law will not be complete until it attends to the harms of coerced conformity. Though we have come to some consensus against penalizing people for differences based on race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, and disability, we still routinely deny equal treatment to people who refuse to downplay differences along these lines. At the same time, Yoshino is responsive to the American exasperation with identity politics, which often seems like an endless parade of groups asking for state and social solicitude. He observes that the ubiquity of covering provides an opportunity to lift civil rights into a higher, more universal register. Since we all experience the covering demand, we can all make common cause around a new civil rights paradigm based on our desire for authenticity--a desire that brings us together rather than driving us apart. Praise for Covering "Yoshino argues convincingly in this book, part luminous, moving memoir, part cogent, level-headed treatise, that covering is going to become more and more a civil rights issue as the nation (and the nation's courts) struggle with an increasingly multiethnic America."--San Francisco Chronicle "[A] remarkable debut . . . [Yoshino's] sense of justice is pragmatic and infectious."--Time Out New York
Call Number: KF373.A3 Y67 2006
Publication Date: 2007-02-20
HIV Pioneers by Wendee M. Wechsberg; James W. CurranTremendous strides have been made in the prevention and treatment of HIV since the disease first appeared in the 1980s. But because many of the people who studied and battled the virus in those early days are now gone, firsthand accounts are at risk of being lost. In HIV Pioneers, Wendee M. Wechsberg collects 29 "first stories" from the outset of the AIDS epidemic. These moving personal narratives and critical historical essays not only shed light on the experiences of global health pioneers, prominent scientists, and HIV survivors, but also preserve valuable lessons for managing the risk and impact of future epidemics. With unprecedented access to many key actors in the fight against AIDS and HIV, Wechsberg brings to life the harrowing reality of those early days of the epidemic. The book captures the experiences of those still working diligently and innovatively in the field, elevating the voices of doctors, scientists, and government bureaucrats alongside those of survivors and their loved ones. Focusing on the impact that the epidemic had on careers, pieces also show how governments responded to HIV, how research agendas were developed, and how AIDS service agencies and case management evolved. Illuminating the multiple facets of the HIV epidemic, both in the United States and across the globe, HIV Pioneers is a touching and inspirational look into the ongoing fight against HIV. Contributors: Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Salim S. Abdool Karim, Lynda Arnold, Anne Jeanene Bengoa, Robert E. Booth, Barry S. Brown, Thomas Coates, Francine Cournos, James W. Curran, Don C. Des Jarlais, Jeffrey D. Fisher, William A. Fisher, Samuel R. Friedman, Robert C. Gallo, Mary Guinan, Gibbie Harris, Warren W. Hewitt Jr., Susan M. Kegeles, Rayford Kytle, Bishop Stacey S. Latimer, Robert Love, Duane C. McBride, Clyde B. McCoy, Carmen Morris, Willo Pequegnat, Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus, Jeffrey Samet, David Serwadda, Lorraine Sherr, James L. Sorensen, Jack B. Stein, Charles van der Horst, Wendee M. Wechsberg, Wayne Wiebel, William A. Zule
Call Number: RC607.A26 H58 2018x
Publication Date: 2018-07-15
Invisible by Michele Lent HirschAlready appearing on must-read lists for Bitch, PopSugar, BookRiot, and Autostraddle, this is an exploration of women navigating serious health issues at an age where they're expected to be healthy, dating, having careers and children. Though young women with serious illness tend to be seen as outliers, young female patients are in fact the primary demographic for many illnesses. They are also one of the most ignored groups in our medical system--a system where young women, especially women of color and trans women, are invisible. Michele Lent Hirsch knew she couldn't be the only woman who's faced serious health issues at a young age, as well as the resulting effects on her career, her relationships, and her sense of self. What she found while researching Invisible was a surprisingly large and overlooked population with important stories to tell. Miriam's doctor didn't believe she had breast cancer; she did. Sophie navigates being the only black scientist in her lab while studying the very disease, HIV, that she hides from her coworkers. For Victoria, coming out as a transgender woman was less difficult than coming out as bipolar. And because of expectations about gender and age, young women with health issues must often deal with bias in their careers and personal lives. Not only do they feel pressured to seem perfect and youthful, they also find themselves amid labyrinthine obstacles in a culture that has one narrow idea of womanhood. Lent Hirsch weaves her own harrowing experiences together with stories from other women, perspectives from sociologists on structural inequality, and insights from neuroscientists on misogyny in health research. She shows how health issues and disabilities amplify what women in general already confront: warped beauty standards, workplace sexism, worries about romantic partners, and mistrust of their own bodies. By shining a light on this hidden demographic, Lent Hirsch explores the challenges that all women face.
Call Number: RA418.3.U6 H57 2018
Publication Date: 2018-02-27
Probably Nothing by Matilda TristramMatilda Tristram was 17 weeks pregnant and looking forward to having her first baby when she discovered she had cancer. This touching graphic memoir, never morose or self-pitying, starts when Matilda was diagnosed and ends when her chemotherapy finished. Recording the awkward conversations, the highs and lows of treatment, and the reality of still having to queue too long for croissants, Matilda captures her experiences with style and warmth. Along the way she cherishes the small details of life, and learns not to sweat the big things. Her beautiful and boisterous son James was born without complications.