Book Discussion Program

The Center for History Of Medicine at the School of Medicine is excited to announce our fifth annual dinner and book discussion program, “Medicine and Literature:  Using Medical Humanities to Enrich Our Professional Lives,” designed for the medical faculty and community staff of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Children’s Hospital, and the Goldfarb School of Nursing.  Typically, we discuss books that address medical practice, physicians, diseases, medical ethics, or patients dealing with their illnesses.  We usually meet five times during the academic year.  A buffet dinner is provided and followed by discussion of the assigned book.

Left Bank Books has generously set up a web page for the group and will give a discount on our titles.


  • Under the Gun: A children’s hospital on the front line of an American crisis by Stu Durando
  • Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
  • TBA
  • TBA
  • TBA


  • Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen (adapted by Arthur Miller)
  • The Heart by Maylis de Kerangal
  • The Tennis Partner by Abraham Verghese
  • Between Hope and Fear by Michael Kinch, MD
  • High Clear Bell of Morning by Ann Eriksson


  • What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear by Danielle Ofri
  • The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy
  • Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine by Daman Tweedy
  • Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones
  • America’s Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918 by Alfred Crosby


  • Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
  • The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by David J. Morris
  • What Nurses Know and Must Communicate to the Public by Bernice Buresh and Suzanne Gordon
  • Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus: The 1818 Text by Mary Shelley
  • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman


  • As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl by John Colapinto
  • The Doctor Stories by William Carlos Williams
  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
  • Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam
  • Witt by Margaret Edson and a chapter from Improvising Medicine: An African Oncology Ward in an Emerging Cancer Epidemic by Julie Livingston
  • An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks