Literature & Health Care Discussion Group

Our program draws on concepts developed by scholars advocating the importance of literature and narrative in medical education and practice. Each month, discussions of books relevant to medicine are led by faculty in the Program for Medical Ethics and Humanities and other U of U faculty and staff. The spirit of our program is captured by Rita Charon, MD, PhD, in the abstract from her article in JAMA (2001;286:1897-1902).

Narrative Medicine: A Model for Empathy, Reflection, Profession, and Trust

The effective practice of medicine requires narrative competence, that is, the ability to acknowledge, absorb, interpret, and act on the stories and plights of others. Medicine practiced with narrative competence, called narrative medicine, is proposed as a model for humane and effective medical practice. Adopting methods such as close reading of literature and reflective writing allows narrative medicine to examine and illuminate 4 of medicine's central narrative situations: physician and patient, physician and self, physician and colleagues, and physicians and society. With narrative competence, physicians can reach and join their patients in illness, recognize their own personal journeys through medicine, acknowledge kinship with and duties toward other health care professionals, and inaugurate consequential  discourse with the public about health care. By bridging the divides that separate physicians from patients, themselves, colleagues, and society, narrative medicine offers fresh opportunities for respectful, empathic, and nourishing medical care.



A light dinner will be served at 6:00 pm.
Discussion begins at 6:15 pm.


The meetings are held at:

University of Utah Hospital
Conference room W1220

Call 801-587-5884 for more detailed directions.
The books are available at The King's English Bookstore and at the University of Utah Health Sciences Bookstore, 581-3755.
Both stores offer a 10% discount to book club members.

View the 2021 Physicians Literature and Medicine schedule

CME Statements and Disclosures

Accreditation: The University of Utah School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA Credit: The University of Utah School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The University of Utah does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, status as a disabled individual, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, genetic information or protected veteran’s status, in employment, treatment, admission, access to educational programs and activities, or other University benefits or services. Additionally, the University endeavors to provide reasonable accommodations and to ensure equal access to qualified persons with disabilities. Inquiries concerning perceived discrimination or requests for disability accommodations may be referred to the University’s Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 201 South Presidents Circle, Rm.135, Salt Lake City, UT, 84112,801-581-8365 (voice/tdd), 801-585-5747 (fax), or online at: <> .

Past and Expanded Reading Schedules

Internet Archive

Not finding the past schedule you want? Check the Wayback Machine:


You can help the Medical Ethics & Humanities Physicians Literature and Medicine Group continue to progress with even a small contribution. Give today!

Give Today!