Funding Wellness: How Grantmakers Impact Community Health

Brynn Fitzsimmons and Rebekah Swank // The narratives we use to secure funding for community-facing work, whether that work is explicitly health-focused or not, can and do impact the health of that work and, more importantly, the people doing it.

Embodying public health: Dressing the part

Madeleine Mant // The Canadian Public Health Association has identified 12 “great achievements” in public health since the early 1900s: Control of infectious disease Decline in deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke Family planning Healthier environments Healthier mothers and babies Motor-vehicle safety Recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard Safer and healthier foods…

The space in-between

Dr Jac Saorsa, Artist-in-Residence// My PhD in creative writing consitutes an exploration, through both conventional and visual language, of the presence and immutability of death. My subjects are the Living: patients in the hopsital with terminal cancer, and the Dead: cadavers I carefully dissect in a creative and subjective approach to the mysteries of individual…

Notes on Spinal Catastrophism

Travis Chi Wing Lau // “It is the duty of a spine to destroy the universe; or, a spine is the universe’s method of acknowledging this duty to self-destruct.”[1] To my scoliosis, reads the dedication to Thomas Moynihan’s Spinal Catastrophism: A Secret History (Urbanomic 2019). This line alone was more than enough for me to…

The Tiger in the Waiting Room–Addressing Moral Stress in Medicine

Jane Desmond, Ph.D. // Is our medical training, medical practice, and our research in the health humanities adequately recognizing and responding to moral stress?  Are some populations, specialties, or jobs within healthcare more likely to experience it? [How] can we imagine future systems of care that alleviate this type of stress among practitioners?

A Model for Humble Commitment in Medicine

Vishesh Jain // Ostensibly, Wintersmith is a novel about witches. It follows young Tiffany Aching as she works as an apprentice and learns how to manage the vast and unexpected responsibilities of witchcraft. The reader, like Tiffany, may expect magic spells and supernatural phenomena to fill her life, but these constitute a fraction of her…

Pain is complex. We should treat it that way.

Steve Server// “What sort of pain is it?” Often, when health care providers inquire after patients’ pain, we get a sort of flummoxed look.  In response, we sometimes get a confused chuckle. As first year medical students, we are trained to differentiate sorts of pain: crampy vs. electrical/burning; dull vs. sharp; localized vs. radiating.  As our medical…

Cultivating Life After Death

Avril Tynan // “Death is not an event in life,” wrote philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein in the early 20th century, “We do not live to experience death” (6.4311). Of course, Wittgenstein could not know that 100 years later we would be living through a pandemic, but if Covid-19 has taught us anything, it is that death…

Narrative Medicine Spring Basic Virtual Workshop: A Brief Reflection

Amala Poli // On March 19th, I began attending a three-day Basic Narrative Medicine (NM) Workshop. Like much else in academia during the Covid-19 pandemic, the workshop was held virtually via Zoom sessions. Having attended panels and conferences in the last year on Zoom, I wondered about how this would translate the experience of being…

Measures of success

Madeleine Mant // Tell me what the measurement is. Tell me why the measurement is important. Ask if it’s okay with me that you take this measurement. I teach Laboratory Methods in Biological Anthropology, an undergraduate course divided into three units: dietary recall and analysis, anthropometry (measurements and proportions of the human body), and accelerometry…