Medical Humanities Symposium

Saturday, November 9

8:00 - 2:00 pm

Jones Library

Dennis Campbell Innovative Learning Space/Jones 200



The Healing Work of WordsAs those planning to work in or around the health care professions, it is our duty to understand both health and human nature. Many of us will spend years learning about the biological basis of disease, but some of this learning comes at the expense of a deep understanding of the patient as a person--not just as pathology.  

On Saturday November 9th  we will gather to explore how the medical humanities can shed light on the intersections of medicine and meaning, of sickness and story, of healthcare and the healing work of words  Join us as we consider this topic through the lens of multiple disciplines, and ask questions such as:

How can literature enhance the clinical encounter between practitioners and patients?  What can we learn from creative writingespecially those of us who rarely have opportunities to tap into creativity or participate in the arts?   What do we learn from literature that we can carry with us into our careers?  How can writing shape the human experience in healthcare?  How can an exploration of writing and the written word foster creativity and conversation about the meaning of medicine, of health, and of healing?  What wisdom can we glean from working with words? 

The purpose of the Medical Humanities Symposium is to showcase the significance of the humanities in medicine for Baylor students and the medical community.  This student-led symposium will feature the many facets of human experience that affect healing beyond the boundaries of biology. The days agenda includes fascinating talks with faculty and special guests, and meals with our influential speakers. 

This event is targeted to all students with an interest in any aspect of healthcare.  Whether you are an upperclassman majoring in medical humanities or have never even heard of medical humanities and want to learn more about the field, we hope you will join us!  Students and faculty from all disciplines, all majors and all departments of the university are welcome.   

The event is free but registration is required at

We are pleased to have as our featured speaker this year poet Steve Langan, who earned an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, where he received the Paul Engle Postgraduate Fellowship from the James Michener Foundation. He is the author of the poetry collections Freezing, Notes on Exile and Other Poems, Meet Me at the Happy Bar, and What It Looks Like, How It Flies. He teaches at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, at the MFA in Writing program and the English Department, and he serves as UNOs Director & Community Liaison for the Medical Humanities program, including the new Major in Medical Humanities. Langan started Seven Doctors Project, now in its sixteenth session, an ongoing creative writing workshop established for mid-career physicians who were willing to claim job burnout and dissatisfaction, at University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2008. He has presented on Seven Doctors Project (and led writing workshops) at Mayo Clinic, Brown University, University of California-San Francisco, Medical College of Wisconsin, the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, and the University of Iowa Examined Life conference, and others.