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Acad Pathol. 2016 Jul 25;3:2374289516659078. doi: 10.1177/2374289516659078. eCollection 2016 Jan-Dec.

The Pathologist as Poet.

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Department of Pathology, Division of Laboratory Medicine, Penn State Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA.


The role of the humanities (eg, philosophy, bioethics, literature, music, theater, religion, anthropology) in medical education has been argued long and hard for decades. It is argued that the study of subjects included in the humanities can enhance critical thinking skills, foster a deeper level of learning and understanding, and help to enhance one's level of compassion, empathy, and moral/ethical reasoning. It is the author's contention that writing and reading poetry (as an example of a personal pursuit in the humanities) can help achieve these goals not only in our contact with patients but also in our contact with other humans and cultures in the world at large.


bioethics; ethics; humanities; literature; medical education; medical humanities; poetry; professionalism

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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