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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Ronald A Carson

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T C 357 • Doctor Writers

43110 • Spring 2013
Meets F 1200pm-300pm CRD 007A
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DOCTOR-WRITERS:  VOICES FROM THE PRACTICE OF MODERN MEDICINE

Description:

Relationships between the ill and health care professionals have altered dramatically over the last sixty years.  Biomedical technologies have proliferated, necessitating changes in medical training and practice.  Health services systems have become heavily bureaucratized.  With health insurance unaffordable by many, the number of uninsured Americans steadily increases.  Meanwhile, doctors continue to be called upon by the sick for cure and care. The publication of literate pathographies is restoring patients’ voices to the medical enterprise.  To complement the study of this recent development (e.g., in my First-Year Signature Course, “Illness and Meaning”), and to deepen understanding of the patient-physician relationship, and of relations between medicine and society, this seminar will explore clinicians’ reflections on their practice recorded in essays, poems, and stories.

Texts/Readings:

Pauline W. Chen, Final Exam:  A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality (2007)

Atul Gawande, Complications:  A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science (2002)

Jerome Groopman, How Doctors Think (2008)

Perri Klass, A Not Entirely Benign Procedure (2010)

Robert Martensen, A Life Worth Living:  A Doctor's Reflections on Illness in a High-Tech Era (2008)

Margaret Mohrmann, Attending Children:  A Doctor's Education (2006)

Sherwin Nuland, The Soul of Medicine:  Tales from the Bedside (2009)

Danielle Ofri, Singular Intimacies:  Becoming a Doctor at Bellvue (2008)

Danielle Ofri, Medicine in Transition:  Journeys with My Patients (2010)

Danielle Ofri, Incidental Findings:  Lessons from My Patients in the Art of Medicine (2005)

Richard Selzer, The Doctor Stories (1998)

William Carlos Williams, The Doctor Stories, compiled by Robert Coles (1984)

Assignments:

Each student will write two 10-12 page papers (each accounting for one-third of the course grade). The remaining third of the course grade will be based on a formal in-class presentation and informed participation in class discussions of assigned readings.

About the Professor:

Ronald A. Carson, PhD, is Harris L. Kempner Distinguished Professor Emeritus and former director of the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. An adjunct faculty member in the University of Texas at Austin’s Plan II Honors Program, he is the editor of four books and author of numerous articles and chapters in both humanities and medical publications; an elected fellow of the Hastings Center; and former president of the Society for Health and Human Values, and a recipient of that society’s Annual Award.

T C 302 • Illness And Meaning

42912 • Spring 2012
Meets F 1200pm-300pm CRD 007A
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Description:

Falling ill, suffering injury, overcoming life-threatening sickness, experiencing loss, facing death—such experiences are the existential meeting place of medicine and meaning.  When we fall seriously ill, we want to know not only what’s the matter with us—the cause (and cure?)—but what it means for our lives, our future, our families.  This seminar will explore such questions by listening carefully to the voices of those doing the asking from “inside” the experience, and of those who care for them.

 

Texts/Readings:

Aaron Alterra, The Caregiver

Anatole Broyard, Intoxicated by My Illness

Jean-Dominique Bauby, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Simone de Beauvoir, A Very Easy Death

Arthur Frank, At the Will of the Body

Lucy Grealy, Autobiography of a Face

Anne Hunsaker Hawkins, Reconstructing Illness

Terry Pringle, This is the Child

Oliver Sacks, A Leg to Stand On

Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor; and AIDS and Its Metaphors

Michael Stein, The Lonely Patient: How We Experience Illness

William Styron, Darkness Visible

 

Assignments:

Each student will write one short paper (3-5 pages) which will constitute 20% of the course grade, and two longer papers (10-12 pages) each of which will constitute 25% of the course grade. The remaining 30% of the course grade will be based on participation in class discussion of the readings and on one in-class presentation on a topic to be assigned in advance.

 

About the Professor

Ronald A. Carson, Ph.D., was educated in Indiana, New York, Germany and Scotland. A recipient of numerous post-doctoral awards and visiting scholar appointments, he is an elected Fellow of The Hastings Center, former president of the Society for Health and Human Values and a recipient of that society's Annual Award for Distinguished Service. He is the author or editor of 5 books and of articles, chapters, and reviews in both humanities and medical publications.  A founder and co-editor of the journal, Medical Humanities Review, a founding member of the editorial board of the journal Medical Humanities (UK) and a contributing editor of the journal, Literature and Medicine, he lectures and consults nationally and internationally and is a commentator on medical ethics issues in the public media. He served as Kempner Distinguished Professor and Director of The Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch from 1982 to 2005.  His current position is that of Emeritus Professor at UTMB where he teaches in the Institute’s graduate program.

T C 357 • Doctor Writers

43445 • Spring 2011
Meets F 1200pm-300pm CRD 007A
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Description:

Relationships between the ill and health care professionals have altered dramatically over the last sixty years.  Biomedical technologies have proliferated, necessitating changes in medical training and practice.  Health services systems have become heavily bureaucratized.  With health insurance unaffordable by many, the number of uninsured Americans steadily increases.  Meanwhile, doctors continue to be called upon by the sick for cure and care. 

 

The publication of literate pathographies is restoring patients’ voices to the medical enterprise.  To complement the study of this recent development (e.g., in my First-Year Signature Course, “Illness and Meaning”), and to deepen understanding of the patient-physician relationship, and of relations between medicine and society, this seminar will explore clinicians’ reflections on their practice recorded in essays, poems, and stories.

 

Texts/Readings:

Jay Baruch, Fourteen Stories:  Doctors, Patients, and Other Strangers (2007)

Pauline W. Chen, Final Exam:  A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality (2007)

Atul Gawande, Complications:  A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science (2002)

David Hilfiker, Not All of Us Are Saints:  A Doctor’s Journey with the Poor (1994)

Perri Klass, Treatment Kind and Fair:  Letters to a Young Doctor (2007)

Vincent Lam, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures (2005)

John D. Lantos, Do We Still Need Doctors? (1997)

Danielle Ofri, Incidental Findings:  Lessons from My Patients in the Art of Medicine (2005)

Richard Selzer, The Doctor Stories (1998)

Abraham Verghese, My Own Country:  A Doctor’s Story of a Town and Its People in the Age of AIDS (1994)

 

Assignments:

Each student will write a 3-5 page paper (15% of the course grade) and a 12-15 page paper (40% of the grade), and make an oral class presentation (15% of the grade).  The remaining 30% of the course grade will be based on attendance and informed participation in class discussions of assigned readings.

 

Ronald A. Carson
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Emeritus
Ronald A. Carson, PhD, is Harris L. Kempner Distinguished Professor Emeritus and former director of the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. An adjunct faculty member in the University of Texas at Austin’s Plan II Honors Program, he is the editor of four books and author of numerous articles and chapters in both humanities and medical publications; an elected fellow of the Hastings Center; and former president of the Society for Health and Human Values, and a recipient of that society’s Annual Award.

T C 357 • Illness And Meaning-W

43525 • Spring 2010
Meets F 1200-300pm CRD 007A
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                             UT Plan II Freshman Seminar, Spring Semester 2010

TC 301      ILLNESS AND MEANING                              Fridays, 12 noon-3 p.m.


Course Description

Falling ill, suffering injury, overcoming life-threatening sickness, experiencing loss, facing death—such experiences occur in the existential meeting place of medicine and meaning.  When we fall seriously ill, we want to know not only what’s the matter with us—the cause (the cure?)—but what it means for our lives, our futures, our families.  This seminar will explore such questions by listening carefully to the voices of those doing the asking from “inside” the experience, and of those who care for them.



About the Professor

Ronald A. Carson, Ph.D., was educated in Indiana, New York, Germany, and Scotland.  A recipient of numerous post-doctoral awards and visiting scholar appointments, he is an elected Fellow of the Hastings Center, former president of the Society for Health and Human Values, and a recipient of that society’s annual award for distinguished service.  

Dr. Carson is the author or editor of five books and of articles, chapters, reviews, and commentaries in both humanities and medical publications.  A founder and co-editor of the journal Medical Humanities Review, a founding member of the editorial board of Medical Humanities (UK), and a contributing editor of the journal Literature and Medicine, he lectures and consults nationally and internationally and is a commentator on medical ethical issues in the public media.  Prior to becoming an Adjunct Professor in the Plan II Honors Program, Dr. Carson taught at New College in Sarasota, Florida, the University of Florida, Gainesville, and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where he served as Director of the Institute for the Medical Humanities and Harris L. Kempner Distinguished Professor.  He is currently Professor Emeritus at UTMB, where he teaches in the Institute’s graduate program.



Grading Policy

Each student will write three papers:  a survey of Chapter 1 of Anne Hunsaker Hawkins’s Reconstructing Illness and Arthur Frank’s “Five Dramas of Illness” (4-5 pages, 20% of the grade), an critical comparison of at least two of the assigned materials in weeks 2-7  (9-10 pages, 25% of the grade), and an interpretive essay discussing at least three of the assigned materials in weeks 10-15 (11-12 pages, 30% of the grade).  The remaining 25% of the course grade will be based on attendance and informed participation in class discussions of the assigned readings.




Syllabus               TC 301 ILLNESS AND MEANING               Spring Semester 2010



January 22     Introduction, review of syllabus and assignments

January 29     Arthur Frank, “Five Dramas of Illness”
                       Anne Hunsaker Hawkins, Reconstructing Illness, Chapter 1
                       *First writing assignment due

February 5     Anatole Broyard, Intoxicated by My Illness
                      Anne Hunsaker Hawkins, “Tattooed Hearts”

February 12   Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors  
                      
February 19   Aaron Alterra, The Caregiver

February 26   “Away from Her”
                      
March 5         Leonard Kriegel, Flying Solo

March 12      Oliver Sacks, A Leg to Stand On
                     *Second writing assignment due

March 19      Spring Break

March 26      “Out of the Shadow”
                     
April 2          William Styron, Darkness Visible

April 9          Lucy Grealy, Autobiography of a Face
                     
April 16        “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”

April 23        Michael Stein, The Lonely Patient

April 30        Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Illyich

May 7           “On Our Own Terms”
                     Third writing assignment due

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