Literature & Medicine

Literature & Medicine: Renewing the heart and soul of health care.

Literature & Medicine is a hospital-based, scholar-led reading and discussion program for health care professionals that benefits both the professionals and their patients. Representing a spectrum of patient care roles, program participants increase their cultural awareness and interpersonal skills, contemplate professional roles and relationships, and share reflections with colleagues by reading and discussing relevant plays, short stories, poetry, fiction, and personal narratives. The forum allows the professionals to connect with colleagues on a deeper, more personal level, increasing their empathy for patients and one another.

Program Impact

Literature & Medicine has a significant effect on the way participants understand their work and their relationships with patients and with each other. It’s proven to be an innovative and cost-effective way to improve patient care while contributing to participants’ job satisfaction. Originally developed by the Maine Humanities Council in 1997, more than 90 hospitals in 19 states now participate in this program.

Peek inside the world of Literature & Medicine

Partnering with Maryland Humanities

Join other Maryland hospitals, including Mercy Medical Center and Good Samaritan Hospital, in bringing Literature & Medicine to your institution.

  • “I work in billing. I think the program has helped me to see that people come from all walks of life and the responses they have to problems with all aspects of health care are influenced by that. I am more willing to listen to them.”

    Literature & Medicine participant
  • “During a vascular conference a patient with an extensive medical history was being discussed. The surgeons were going over multiple surgical possibilities for the patient. I spoke up and suggested pallative care. They admitted it wasn’t a bad idea. Nothing they were discussing was going to provide any long term benefit. I am not sure I would have thought of pallitive care, let alone, speak up to a group of surgeons without having been in Literature in Medicine.”

    ​Literature & Medicine participant
  • “My participation continuance with the program comes from the great cohesiveness of our group […] everyone’s ideas and work philosophies teach me something new about how to handle my work and my own life.”

    Literature & Medicine participant
  • “The program gave me new insights and reinforced many of my attitudes and commitments to the care of the seniors whom I see in my clinic. Interacting with colleagues whom I have now had a different and delightful “book club” experience with improves my work performance and work enjoyment.”

    ​Literature & Medicine participant
  • “My participation continuance with the program comes from the great cohesiveness of our group… even when new people join… everyone’s ideas and work philosophies teach me something new about how to handle my work and my own life.”

    ​Literature & Medicine participant
  • “[Participation in the program] continues to remind that as humans, we are diverse and handle situations in accordance with who we are as individuals. Being so reminded fosters patience and empathy in dealing with everyone I come in contact with.”

    ​Literature & Medicine participant
  • “The topic, readings and discussions have encouraged me to consider other ways of interacting with patients and families in the context of culture, lifestyle and economics.”

    ​Literature & Medicine participant
  • “The program has definitely helped me refocus on caring for patients versus helping physicians treat their diseases.”

    ​Literature & Medicine participant
  • “I work in billing. I think the program has helped me to see that people come from all walks of life and the responses they have to problems with all aspects of health care are influenced by that. I am more willing to listen to them.”

    ​Literature & Medicine participant
  • “[After Literature & Medicine,] I have more respect for other health care staff.”

    Literature & Medicine participant
  • “I am far more aware of making sure my patients and their families have true informed consent. A misunderstanding of consent can have a huge negative impact on several generations. I never would have realized this without Literature & Medicine.”

    ​Literature & Medicine participant
  • “[Literature & Medicine] has allowed me to see the perspective of other health care professionals.”

    Literature & Medicine participant
  • “The topic, readings and discussions have encouraged me to consider other ways of interacting with patients and families in the context of culture, lifestyle and economics.”

    Literature & Medicine participant
  • “[After Literature & Medicine,] I sat and spoke with a terrified family member for much longer than I would have. Building a rapport is so important for the patient’s and family’s mental health.”

    Literature & Medicine participant
Share your feedback
Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities.
Maryland Humanities
108 West Centre Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-4565
(410) 685-0095
(410) 685-0795 fax
info@mdhumanities.org
Join the Conversation   TwitterFacebookYouTube
Featured Donor or Partner
Maryland Historical Trust logo