Must-Read: On Doctoring

This week has been wild to say the least: severe weather, birthdays, Mother’s day, and packing to take a weekend trip with the hubs starting Thursday. Add chores and grocery shopping to that and there’s barely time to sleep!

Needless to say, I’m pretty pumped for our second mini-vacation of the year, and I’m planning my travel library for our trip. Whenever I have a few moments away from the MFA program’s assigned reading (which I love), I find myself returning to my favorite and most dog-eared book: On Doctoring by Richard Reynolds and John Stone.

The book is special to me not only for its incredibly rich literary content, but also for its sentimental value. It was an assigned reading for my favorite class in college, Medical Visions in Literature, which arguably led me to pursuing my undergraduate thesis and my MFA thesis in narrative medicine. The book holds short stories, clinical documentation, illustrations, poetry, and non-fiction works, all of which provide insight into the empathetic or non-empathetic medical professional’s inner thoughts.

Even if you don’t have an interest in medicine, I can’t recommend the book highly enough to you, because it’s not about medicine, but rather the human experience and facets of life, emotion, and the physical world we all share.

Perhaps what is most important and meaningful to me about this book is its ability to call into question the empathetic physician, nurse, PA, or other medical professional and to drag out into the light the difficulties he or she may face as a caregiver or as a patient.

Take a look at On Doctoring when you have a chance, and prepare to be changed.


Have you read On Doctoring? Do you enjoy works in the narrative medicine genre?

Let me know what you think!

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