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Thoughts from a Doctor-Poet

June 3, 2015

“I started writing poems about medicine because I kept getting stuck as a medical student. There is a language associated with medicine and a way of presenting knowledge that is venerated, and I suppose I got sick of these. It felt as though doctors wanted subjectivity scrubbed out of their language like a bug. Cleanliness was more valued than the vernacular I loved.” ~ Glenn Colquhoun (p.315 ref below)

Just thought I’d mention this article: ‘Why Is Any of This Important to Me Anyway?’: Some Thoughts from a Doctor-Poet. Colquhoun, Glenn. Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture44.3 (2011 Fall): 315-334. doi: 10.1215/00166928-1407522

Abstract: The practice of medicine and the practice of writing poetry are often considered to require competing skills. The New Zealand doctor-poet Glenn Colquhoun looks at the similarities between the two activities and argues that narrative and metaphor play important roles in the creative moment at the core of both disciplines. He argues that, along with objectivity, subjectivity is a valuable way of “knowing” in medicine. He illustrates his points with a selection of poems drawn from his practice and an essay exploring the importance of the subjective in decoding the consultation between doctor and patient.

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From → Colquhoun Glenn

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