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The Medical Sublime

University of Virginia. School of Medicine
Online; Online Video; Video
Filmed Lectures
In its emphasis on instrumentality, on the patient as something to be acted upon, and on the doctor as an abstracted agent of diagnosis and treatment, medicine often neglects the practitioner's involvement in the clinical scene. Recent attempts to direct attention to this aspect of practice have been stymied by medicine's nearly exclusive reliance on a quantitative, positivist disposition, with which humanist scholarship has had difficulty gaining traction. The narrative medicine movement, as articulated by Dr. Rita Charon of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, has gained widespread attention within the medical academy. But physician and literature scholar Dr. Terrence Holt argues that, for all its positive features (and despite Dr. Charon's efforts to define it otherwise), narrative medicine as applied remains committed to an interventional model that is at odds with the strengths of the humanities. Drawing on readings of texts such as Shakespeare's King Lear, Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Shelley's Frankenstein, and the poetry of John Keats, Dr. Holt contends that the value of the humanities in medical education and practice is not as an intervention but as a diagnostic modality—and that the proper first object of diagnosis may not be the patient, but the physician. The Ellis Moore Lecture of the School of Medicine
University of Virginia. School of Medicine
Becker, Daniel M.
Holt, Terry
Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
Medical Center Hour
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The speakers in this presentation have given the University of Virginia permission to make it freely accessible online for all audiences to view. To request permission to reproduce, republish, and/or repost this presentation please contact the Historical Collections and Services Department of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library at the University of Virginia.
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