Poems for Doctors

What is this?

Poems for Doctors is a collaboration between Scottish Poetry Library and the School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews.  The project developed out of Tools of the Trade: Poems for new doctors, a small anthology of poems published by Scottish Poetry Library and distributed to graduating doctors. Poems for Doctors builds on the book, using this blog to publish short seasons of readings of some of these poems.  Video readings are made by medical professionals or trainees who have chosen one poem for particular reasons or associations that they explain.  Each reading provides a seed for informal discussion in a Facebook group managed by a group of highly experienced medics.

What is the aim?

Being a doctor is sometimes highly emotionally challenging. Doctors regularly share the most personal, vulnerable, and crucial moments of other people’s lives.  Poems for Doctors is an online project that uses poetry to make opportunities for doctors to recognise some of their own experiences in those of others.  The intention is to facilitate an online discussion about some of these very human situations, and in doing so to foster a community of encouragement and support.

Who’s making this?

The School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews is providing hosting and technical support for this online project. Technical lead is poet and self proclaimed ‘aerty boffin’ Steve Smart.

Bottom line?

Although Poems for Doctors uses poetry to facilitate a conversation, it is not a project with a literary focus, at heart its subject is something else.

It’s about humanity.

Season 1

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