The Healer's Art (NPR commentary)

Hi all,
Another commentary of mine about being a medical student was on All Things Considered tonight.
Here’s part of the All Things Considered web site’s description of the commentary:
"Right now, there’s a new social contract in negotiation between doctors and everyone else, says commentator Joe Wright. Doctors have long been viewed as arrogant and uncaring. Now, there’s a movement to make doctors more caring and spiritual about their practice. In medical school, he took a class called ‘The Healer’s Art’ that tries to teach these new values. At the end of the class, he received a pin to wear that says ‘The Healer’s Art,’ but he’s not going to wear it…"
The show can be found at
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I heard this! I really enjoyed listening to your perspective. While I was listening, I wondered how you came to be an NPR contributor. Perhaps you have shared this before, but would you share your tale again?

anybody can submit their pieces to NPR… the reason Joe is so successful at it is just because he's really good at telling stories.
but if you go the NPR website, it will tell you how to go about submitting material.

Right On, Joe!!!

Thanks for the kind words, all. Runtita, MD/PhD is right–there is a very straightforward method of submitting essays to NPR for consideration, which is outlined in the “commentaries” link from the All Things Considered page, which you can reach via
I also admit that this is not quite the way it happened for me. I have told this story before.…5&hl=considered
is where to find it.
If you’re interested in radio and ideas about producing radio pieces, I also recommend, a forum for independent public radio producers.
I mention in that previous post the value of publishing a xeroxed zine in developing my writing. Since then, the zine tradition has moved mostly to the web, but I think it accomplishes some of the same great feats. A great role model: Nanon, a frequent contributor to OPM who also has a web site with some of her very lovely personal writing on it-- . An extreme example of this phenomenon: Paul Ford, who has since 1997 kept up a massive and great site called --and also recently became an All Things Considered commentator. Anyway, it is really true that writing for an audience of fewer than 100 is what allowed me to be able to write for an audience of many more than that, not only in terms of the personal connection it cemented but more importantly, the skills and voice it helped me find.
Thanks a lot for listening.

Thanks, Joe. And by the way, that piece (like all of them, actually) is brilliant. I’ve been reading Dr. Remen’s books lately. My mom got me the boxed set for Christmas… a little too Chicken Soup for the Dr.'s Soul for my taste, but there are some interesting anecdotes. I am also uncomfortable with the “Church of the Doctor” mentality, for a lot of the reasons you mentioned. I can’t believe they actually gave you a pin to wear. rolleyes.gif Kind of reminds me of a brownie badge. In fact, it’s exactly the same concept, isn’t it? Personally, as a pt, I’d rather see an anatomy pin, or a physiology pin, but that’s just my preference, I guess.
Keep it up!
PS: I’m still looking for the submission of essays and personal statements (both fake and real), folks! What I’ve gotten so far has been wonderful, so keep them coming!