In 2010 Dr. Margaret Cary offered the Doctoring Selective "Personal Essay and Narrative Medicine: Writing to Make Sense of Medical School and Becoming a Physician" for the first time to first year students at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. Jasmine Zheng, Greg Shumer, Sadhana Rajamoorthi, Patti Pang, John Miller and Caroline Green were in the first class. Their wish to share their common experiences led to this website.

Medical school is an intense environment, filled with new experiences, feelings and thoughts. Personal essay is where the "I" intersects with our environment to make sense of the world around us with a personal, subjective view. Narrative medicine uses a story-essay to discover meaning and purpose in illness and healing. This class is for those who wish to learn how writing can improve our ability to reflect, stay focused and interact with patients and colleagues. Our main focus in the class is on participants' writing. Depending upon class size, there will be two or three brief writing assignments. Each student will lead a discussion of an essay from that year's text. Participants will distribute their writing among the group for discussion in an open, constructive workshop. The class may feature guest faculty and a session on publication.

The goal of the Doctoring Selectives is to introduce students to various topics related to the delivery of health care. At the core of the Doctoring Curriculum components is the importance of the development of altruism and concern for the individual patient as a person, as well as the foundation for concern for the health of the population as a whole. Each student selects one Selective from among 25 different topics, each taught by faculty with specialized expertise and passion for the topic.

Essays

Pear Pressure, Caroline Green

This piece originally appeared on The Doctor Weighs In, TDWI doctors weigh in on health & healthcare, www.thedoctorweighsin.com.

A Fork in the Road, Greg Shumer

Dr. B Gets an F, Greg Shumer

This piece originally appeared in Pulse--voices from the heart of medicine, www.pulsemagazine.org.

Recipe for a Medical Student, Jasmine Zheng

This piece originally appeared on The Doctor Weighs In, TDWI doctors weigh in on health & healthcare, www.thedoctorweighsin.com.

Tools of the Trade, Jasmine Zheng

Class of 2013, Patti Pang

Ruth and Me, Patti Pang

This piece originally appeared on The Doctor Weighs In, TDWI doctors weigh in on health & healthcare, www.thedoctorweighsin.com.

Hardship with no Homeland, Hope and Hospitals in a Foreign Land, John Miller