Cambridge Forum, "Why Doctors Write"


Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 7:00pm to 8:00pm


First Parish in Cambridge, 3 Church Street (Harvard Square)

Beacon Press director Helene Atwan explores the relationship between editor and author with Danielle Ofri, a practicing physician, author, and the editor of the Bellevue Literary Review, the premier literary journal focused on illness, health, and healing.

How does writing change Ofri’s practice of medicine? How does editing the Bellevue Literary Review inform her view of her hospital and her patients? What does publishing a “doctor who writes” add to Beacon Press’s legacy? How has Helene Atwan’s sense of the power of writing changed through her work with Danielle Ofri?

Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD is an Associate Professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine but her clinical home is at Bellevue Hospital, the oldest public hospital in the country. She is a founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Bellevue Literary Review. Her newest book isWhat Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine. Dr. Ofri is the author of three previous books about life in medicine (Medicine in Translation: Journeys with my Patients; Incidental Findings: Lessons from my Patients in the Art of Medicine; and Singular Intimacies: Becoming a Doctor at Bellevue). She was also editor of a medical textbook—The Bellevue Guide to Outpatient Medicine—which won a Best Medical Textbook award.

Danielle Ofri writes regularly for the New York Times about medicine and the doctor-patient relationship. Her essays have also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Atlantic, Slate, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, CNN and on National Public Radio.

Helene Atwan has been director of Beacon Press since 1995. She began her career in publishing at Alfred A. Knopf, and has worked at The Viking Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and Simon and Schuster. She serves on the board of PEN-New England and the National Coalition against Censorship (NCAC) and has lectured on publishing at the New York University and Radcliffe College.

See also: 2014