The Medicine & the Muse Program is the home for the arts and humanities at the medical school, with programs that support diversity and integrate the arts and humanities into medical education, scholarly endeavors, and the practice of medicine.

Join our list serve and newsletter to hear about our upcoming events!

2020's annual Kalanithi Writing Award is now open for submissions. 

Medicine & the Muse is pleased to announce a solicitation for unpublished short stories, essays or poetry addressing patients and providers facing chronic or life limiting illness. Fiction and non-fiction submissions are welcome. For submission guidelines and to submit, click here.

Paul Kalanithi was a physician writer and neurosurgery resident at Stanford University. In the final years of his training, he was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. His memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, beautifully chronicles his reflections on living with illness and legacy. The Paul Kalanithi Award was created in his memory. 

To read previous winners, click here

Rally by the Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine department. 

We at Medicine & the Muse join Stanford Medicine and its departments in denouncing the societal and structural racism that leads to violence against Black Americans. This systemic racism also leads to widespread health inequalities: a higher death rate from COVID-19, misconceptions about pain perception, and for Black women, a much higher breast cancer death rate. The list goes on. We at Medicine & the Muse stand for inclusion, diversity, respect, and justice. We stand with our Black friends, colleagues, patients, students, trainees, and others who are suffering.

June 8, 2020

Thursday, Oct 22
Register here!

Stanford PhD candidate Zack Burton and Stanford alumna Elisa Hofmeister created the play in the wake of Burton's bipolar diagnosis.

Zach and Elisa are delighted to (virtually) bring these stories back to Stanford in collaboration with a team including a diverse cast of individuals at Stanford: associate dean of the School of Medicine, former director of Stanford's psychiatric inpatient unit for 20 years, founder of CHIPAO (theatrical vignettes on Asian American mental health), and advisor to season 1 of Netflix's 13 Reasons Why Dr. Rona Hu; Pulitzer Prize finalist and highly acclaimed playwright Amy Freed; and Emmy Awardee, clinical assistant professor, debunker of COVID-19 misinformation, and director of the Stanford Health Communication Initiative Dr. Seema Yasmin.

Stuck@Home Family Concert

November 19 | 5:30PM – 6:30PM (PDT)

We believe in the power of music to heal and unite, particularly during uncertain times.

Register here.

“In this biomedical revolution, we need the humanities now more than ever.”

-Lloyd B. Minor, MD, Dean, Stanford University School of Medicine

Program Features and News

7/31/2020 From healthcare workers to the rest of us — how can we better cope?

TED Radio Hour (NPR). This episode focuses on how to cope with stress and features Black physicians and TED Fellow & Director of Writing and Storytelling at Medicine & the Muse, Laurel Braitman.

7/14/2020 Stanford’s Music Will Go On: Recapping Spring Musical Innovations

Stuck@Home concert organizer, Jacqueline Genovese, Executive Director of Medicine & the Muse, comments on the impact that music can have, even amid the physical limitations posed by quarantine.

7/9/2020 2020 Art & Anesthesia Soirée

Essential, published by Founder of Medicine & the Muse, Dr. Audrey Shafer. 

6/24/2020 Black Medical Workers Reflect on the Front Lines of Covid and Racism

Dr. Laurel Braitman, director of writing and storytelling, SOM's Medicine and the Muse Program was joined by four writers from Writing Medicine: Med student Dasha Savage, Associate Dean of Admissions and Professor Iris Gibbs, resident (and Stanford grad) Brandon Turner and critical care fellow Adjoa Boateng in conversation with the host of Forum, Michael Krasny. 

6/9/2020 The Creative Awakening Happening at Stanford Medicine

Check out the interview of Medicine & the Muse Executive Director, Jacqueline Genovese, and Stanford Medicine Dr. Bryant Lin on Doximity's Op-Med. 

5/20/2020 How writing helps medical students and doctors handle stress

Laurel Braitman, PhD, started teaching medical students storytelling five years ago in her role as writer-in-residence. But the more opportunities she gave medical students to tell stories about their frustrations, joys and fears, the better the students reported feeling about themselves and their medical careers, Braitman explains in her new TED talk.

Braitman is also featured in this article: Writing Medicine workshop helps healthcare workers reflect on pandemic

Important Links

All of the events, news, and updates related to the Frankenstein@200 initative. 

A note regarding COVID-19: Stanford Medicine and the Muse supports the health and wellbeing of all.  

We follow all guidelines and policies from Stanford University. Stanford COVID-19 information can be found at

Upcoming Events

Writing Medicine: Weekly reflective writing session for healthcare workers and their loved ones

A virtual space for healthcare workers and the people who love them to write, reflect and share.

November 7, 21, 2020
December 5, 2020

10AM – 11AM (PDT)

Meets every other Saturday

Sign up at for login details

Manic Monologues: Virtual Play and Discussion

True stories of mental health and illness to disrupt stigma.

October 22, 2020

5:30PM – 6:45PM PDT
This event is free and open to the public.
Register here.

Ekphrastic Poetry & Music
Franz Joseph Haydn’s string quartet in G minor, Opus 20, No.3.

A joint evening of poetry and music with the Saint Lawrence String Quartet and the Pegasus Physician Writers.
November 4, 2020

This event is free and open to the public.
Register here

Stuck@Home Virtual Concert, Family 

We believe in the power of music to heal and unite, particularly during uncertain times.
November 19, 2020

5:30PM – 6:30PM PDT
This event is free and open to the public.
Register here.

The following events WILL NOT happen this year:

Stanford Medicine Symphony Inaugural Concert (likely postponed to 2021)

March 19 Screening of RARE in Redwood City (rescheduling TBA)

International Health Humanities Consortium Conference at Vanderbilt

We apologize for the cancellation, postponement, or necessary alteration of events.

Many thanks for your understanding.

Ongoing Events

Weds Night Writes
Every 3rd Weds 
(Meets during the academic year)