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The physician and writer Anton Chekhov wrote, “People who have an official, professional relation to other men’s sufferings.. in course of time, grow so callous, that they cannot, even if they wish it, take any but a formal attitude to their clients, in this respect they are not different from the peasant who slaughters sheep and calves in the backyard, and does not notice the blood."  As the practice of medicine grows in complexity year after year, the actual patient is often lost in a dizzying array of numbers, tests, images, and charts.  Chekhov's astute observation, made over a century ago, rings ever true today, so how do we bring that patient back to the forefront of medical care?  Students in this course will read selections on Medicine from literature, medical journals, philosophy of science, and medial writing.  From Chekhov to Kalanithi, Osler to Kuhn and Gawande, we will ask how we got here by tracing the intellectual history of modern medicine and delve into medical ethics with real life cases of life and death from the hospital wards and intensive care units.  The seminar will culminate in a writing experience for students to reflect on the reading and dialogue that has taken place.

This seminar exists equally for both students who are interested in a career in medicine, those who are not, and those who are simply not sure, as it has applicability in law, public policy, history, basic science, philosophy, and literature.  Students are encouraged to bring their opinions and their personal experiences as we debate and discuss these topics in a collegial atmosphere of mutual discovery. 

AHMED KHAN is the Internal Medicine Chief Resident and Instructor in the Department of Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  He has taught and developed simulation training for medical students and residents and been involved with multiple hospital quality improvement initiatives.

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honors program offices

BUSCH CAMPUS COLLEGE AVENUE CAMPUS DOUGLASS CAMPUS LIVINGSTON CAMPUS
Nelson Biological Labs
Room A-110
P 848-445-3912
Milledoler Hall
Room 119
P 848-932-1406
College Hall
Room 306
P 848-932-2011
Lucy Stone Hall
Room A-201
P 848-445-3206

Contact Us

35collegeave

35 College Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901


P 848-932-7964
F 732-932-2957
E honors@sas.rutgers.edu