On Reading and Writing About Medicine


Where Poetry Meets Medicine

When the editor of Consultant asked me to consider writing a blog for its online journal, I immediately browsed the Internet, curious to see what doctors were writing about.  First,   I was surprised to discover how many doctors are blogging these days.  Hundreds, maybe thousands, writing about everything:  advances in medicine, technology, money, and politics; personal hobbies and interests.  Who is writing all this stuff?  Better yet, who is reading it!  After browsing blogs for several hours, I tired out and went to bed. Shouldn’t I be spending my time more wisely?

How to spend one’s time is an important, philosophical and practical question, especially for busy clinicians.  It’s a question I frequently ask myself, and pose to others.  It seems many physicians now find meaning and purpose in writing blogs.  Others find value in searching blogs for entertainment, information, or inspiration.   

I hope readers will find these things in this journal, where I plan to write about the complexities of medicine, relationships, ageing, Et Cetera.  If they don’t always find them here, that’s okay too.

Let me explain.           

I have a passion for poetry.  Over the years, I’ve learned that I must read many poems by many poets before discovering one or two I really like- a select few that resonate with my true feelings and thoughts.  In the coming months, I hope readers will find entries here that resonate with them- a select few that inspire them to do the hard work of medicine.

Dean Gianakos, MD, FACP


Dean Gianakos, MD, FACP, practices and teaches general internal medicine in the Lynchburg Family Medicine Residency and Geriatrics Fellowship, Lynchburg, VA.  He frequently writes and lectures on the patient-physician relationship, end-of-life care, and the medical humanities.