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Yale Internal Medicine Residency Writers’ Workshop Celebrates 20th Year with Annual Reading Event

February 12, 2024
by Sarah L. Spaulding

Last week, the Yale medical community gathered to hear the reading of ten Yale residents’ written works. The reading event celebrated the 20th anniversary of Yale’s Internal Medicine Residency Writers’ Workshop, which began in 2003. As in past years, residents who partook in this year’s reading spent two days this fall working closely with workshop leaders Anna Reisman, MD; Lisa Sanders, MD; and Sharon Ostfeld-Johns, MD; to revise their pieces. The authors continue to work on their stories through the fall with ongoing mentorship from workshop leaders. Last Thursday, February 1, they read their final works aloud to Yale faculty, staff, and students.

Christine Gummerson, MD, was one of this year’s resident participants. She spoke about the importance of having a space to express life in medical residency. “As a trainee, I have found that imposter syndrome rears its head not just in the hallways of the hospital but also within the space of a blank page. It has meant so much to me to join this community and to have the opportunity to write, reflect, and grow alongside my colleagues with the mentorship of our faculty leaders. I am so grateful to Drs. Reisman, Sanders, Ostfeld-Johns, and the Department of Internal Medicine for making the Writer's Workshop possible and opening up participation to housestaff across our Yale community. "

The full list of writers included Effie deGraft-Johnson, MD, MPH; Caroline Raymond-King, MD; PhD; Justin Dower, MD; Koeun Choi, MD; Christine Gummerson, MD; Bo (Jack) Peng, MD; Julia Sherman, MD; Morgan Goheen, MD, PhD; Austin Buchla, MD; and Lara Rotter, MD.

Although the workshop has grown into an influential annual event, it came from humble beginnings. “The very first workshop, led by Abraham Verghese in 2003, was intended to be a one-off, an experiment in providing internal medicine residents an opportunity to reflect on their experiences and draw meaning from them through the craft of writing,” said Reisman.

She reflected on the program's growth over two decades. “Twenty years later, we’ve taught about 235 residents, and many have published pieces in various publications. I'm thrilled that we are still going strong, that we've created a community, that we've helped residents embrace the revising process, and that we've given them tools to get their fine work out into the world where it can have an impact.”

The final pieces will be published in the 2024 edition of Capsules.

The Department of Internal Medicine at Yale School of Medicine established the Writers' Workshop in 2003. To learn more, visit Writers’ Workshop.

The Department of Internal Medicine at Yale School of Medicine is among the nation's premier departments, bringing together an elite cadre of clinicians, investigators, educators, and staff in one of the world's top medical schools. To learn more, visit Internal Medicine.

Submitted by Julie Parry on February 12, 2024