Please address questions to Katie Priske, 319-335-8051, 1193 MERF

The Observer Speaks: Medicine, Literature, & Writing – MED:8401

Open to M4s


Camille Socarras, Director, Writing and Humanities Program; 
Clinician TBA
4 elective credits, P/F

Check course offering book for exact date.


With residency applications completed or a match in your hand, this course offers you a chance to devote four weeks to reading, discussing, and writing in response to literature, essays, and poetry. Reading selections include work by Abraham Verghese, Flannery O’Connor, Jose Saramago, and Anton Chekhov. You will read approximately 400 pages and write one assignment each week. You will be responsible for active participation in our weekly discussions of assigned readings and the writing of your classroom peers.

Come discuss literature from clinical and creative perspectives and experience the workshop method of presenting your own writing for peer review.


The Examined Life: Writing and Medicine – MED:8070

Intended for M1s/M2s, open to all.


Camille Socarras, Director, Writing and Humanities Program;
1 elective credit, P/F


This class will be offered in Fall.


The goals of the course are:

  • to consider medicine and medical training through the perspective of literary works
  • to improve and expand ability to communicate through reflective or creative writing
  • to hone ability to review the reflective or creative writing of others

The requirements for credit for taking the course are:

  • to attend class, missing no more than two sessions
  • to complete weekly reading and writing assignments
  • to review and comment on classmates’ writing
  • to turn in a portfolio of revised writing assignments at the class’s completion

The course may include guest lecturers and literary field trips.