Medicine as Literature

My thanks to the Dec. 7 issue of The New Yorker for alerting me to the existence of the Bellevue Literary Revue, a twice-yearly literary magazine published by the Department of Medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center. The BLR began publication in Fall 2001, and features poetry, stories, and essays.

image courtesy Bellevue Literary Revue

The BLR‘s editor-in-chief is Dr. Danielle Ofri, an assitant professor of medicine at NYU who practices and teaches at Bellevue Hospital; she is the author of three books. Also on the magazine’s staff is Dr. Jerome Lowenstein, senior nonfiction editor, an NYU professor of medicine, former chief of nephrology, and the author of two books. The other staffers who run the magazine are not physicians.

According to an interview with Dr. Ofri on the BLR web site, it is “the first literary magazine to arise from a medical center,” and the “first publication to use the power of literature to focus on” illness and health. The magazine’s web site further elaborates that the BLR “examines human existence through the prism of health and healing, illness and disease.”

Nothing is new about literature that deals with medical themes. But it’s exciting to know a publication exists that’s devoted to this writing. My congratulations to Dr. Ofri and her associates.

—Mitchel Zoler (on Twitter @mitchelzoler)

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Filed under IMNG, Internal Medicine, Primary care, Surgery

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