Doctors as Writers

The title of my blog ‘Chekhov was a doctor’ was taken from something the writer William Fiennes said to me on an Arvon writing course. I had just started to write really and this week was the first creative writing course I’d been on. William Fiennes and Mark Haddon were the tutors and I totally lucked out getting a place. There is nothing like reading aloud your own writing to get the nerves flying but it was one of the most inspiring weeks I’ve ever experienced. After a tutorial with William Fiennes I said, “So I shouldn’t give up the day job just yet”  (I work as a GP) and he said to me “Well Chekhov was a doctor.”

I’ll never forget that moment of encouragement and here is the blog that sparked off from that comment. I was amazed when I realised how many famous authors were also doctors and I wish I could have made this lecture in Edinburgh last year, but I’m sure there will be many more.

Centre for Medical Humanities Blog

Edinburgh University Medical Humanities Research Network presents:
Doctors as Writers
Panel discussion
Wednesday 14th November 6 – 7.45 pm
Followed by a wine reception
Teviot Lecture Theatre, Old Medical School, Doorway 5

There is a long tradition of doctor-writers throughout history, most  notably from the eighteenth century onwards, but going as far back as antiquity. From Keats to Smollett, from Chekhov to Conan Doyle, physicians have written about the great dramas of human life and existence. From their unique insight into life and death situations, doctors have created some of the most fascinating stories and characters in literature.
Dr Iain McClure, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist for the NHS and playwright for the BBC; Dr Gavin Francis, local Edinburgh GP and travel writer; Dr Peter Dorward, local Edinburgh GP, university lecturer and award-winning short fiction writer will form a panel discussing the ways in which being a doctor helps them…

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