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Medical Culture and Its Effects on Doctors and Patients

On the evening of October 22, I had the pleasure of moderating a reading and discussion with two fine writers, Dr. Zinaria Williams and Elizabeth Wood, PhD, each of whom addresses in her work the nature of medical culture in the United States. Dr. Williams is an ophthalmologist at work on a novel that examines the way doctors in US medical schools are trained. Dr. Wood, who is also a colleague of mine, is a sociologist whose memoir, Bound, recounts her experience as advocate, caretaker, and daughter during her mother’s terminal illness. From very different—and, at least on the surface, opposing—perspectives, these two women present compelling portraits of the different ways that the medical profession and the health care industry strip the people within it of their agency and their dignity. The readings and the discussion were compelling and important. I encourage you to watch the video:

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