Pain by Art Scale

A new and useful tool for health care providers!
click to view the post and download the entire 10-point guide.

Learn more about the use of art in medicine:
“What Doctors can Learn from Looking at Art” (Dhruv Khullar, New York Times 2016)
Ars Practica: Observation in Practice (a teaching model)

Posted in Overheard, Photo essay, Web resource

The Stopping Places – and Health

Oxford Theology graduate Damien Le Bas has just published a welcome memoir on growing up Romany (“Gypsy”) in Britain. Read an extract here.

Read an interview with the author.

Learn more about the Roma at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights’ Roma Program, founded by Roma activist and scholar Margareta (Magda) Matache.

Explore health-related consequences of discrimination against Roma in the December 2017 Health and Human Rights Journal

Posted in Booknote, Overheard


On my mind these days,
during a sudden window
of poignant loss,


from a very old calendar
(click to view enlarged)
Posted in Reflection

Calling: college students interested in social justice

Are you wondering how to connect social justice with what you want to do with your life? Consider 3 days to think about it in conversation with others like you!
Consider applying to Harvard Divinity School’s Diversities and Explorations program, November 6-8, 2018. This three-day introduction (at no cost to those selected) brings together interested students, faculty, and administrators to talk about graduate programs that span religious and cultural divides to prepare ethical leaders to work in a complex world. Applications available SOON. Learn more.

Posted in Educational resource, News, Upcoming Event

By the Waves

“…a photograph of the garden of the spirit…may we all
relax and put our hands in our pockets by the waves where god lives…”

(lines from RS Thomas and friends)
Posted in Photo essay, Reflection

“The social construction of our interpretations” (Paul Farmer)

Dr. Paul Farmer reflects on the importance of anthropology in health care, in a recent Harvard Gazette interview:

“…Q: How important to your career is the blend of medicine and anthropology?

It was and is very important. … each year, as time goes by, I think, Wow, any insights I might have are related to my training in anthropology.

Q: The social determinants of health — ?

A: But also the social construction of our interpretations. Understanding social determinants — anybody can do that and everyone should. …The social construction of epidemics and the lived experience of sickness are very different.

Social construction of the way we interpret these determinants means knowing that our views on illness, well-being, sickness, death, suffering, pain, equity, fairness, and justice are all socially constructed and therefore amenable to change. None of it is God-given. Understanding that — that’s really anthropology.”

Read the full interview

Posted in Educational resource, Overheard, Reflection, Web resource

Religion and Narrative Medicine: Table Talk

View this 30-minute conversation on the power of stories in healing. Eva Bleeker (on the left) is a chaplain who (since this video) recently completed graduate studies in narrative medicine at the Columbia program she describes in the discussion. The video includes transcript.

Posted in Overheard, Web resource, Educational resource