The UCSD Medical Humanities Group

The UCSD Medical Humanities Group was founded in 2012 with support from the UCSD Humanities Center. The group brings together scholars in the humanities, UCSD physicians and medical students, nurses, community health professionals, and interested others to discuss classic literature dealing with medical themes, and contemporary fiction and non-fiction dealing with health and illness, death and dying, and related medical issues. Discussion takes place over dinner once a month during the academic year. The group's long-rage goal is to establish a Medical Ethics and Humanities Program at UC San Diego and integrate ethics and humanities into undergraduate and graduate medical education.

The theme for 2018-2019 is caregiving and care taking. Readings include short stories, novels, poems, and a memoir. Open to UCSD faculty, staff, graduate students, and other members of the UCSD community, its affiliates, and interested others. Medical students are particularly encouraged to attend.

     5-7 pm 2nd Wednesday monthly from October 2018 - June 2019
UCSD School of Medicine - La Jolla Campus,
Medical Teaching Facility, Room 175.
Light dinner provided at no charge.
Please RSVP to


For more information or to subscribe to the group email-list, contact Rebecca Long or Joan Gass


Care-giving and Caregivers: Relatives, Lovers, and Friends

Medical Humanities Monthly Schedule 2018-2019

Dates  Topic/Reading Details/Sources
October 10

Children of Aging Parents 

Intoduction 1-10   

Diem perdidi, Julie Otsuka, short story, 8 pages 
Yesterday, W.S. Merwin, poem, 2 pagesWhere the Groceries Went, Raymond Carver, poer, 2 pages 

Recommended: The Third Dumpster, Gish Jen 

All reading selections from Living in the Land of Limbo: Fiction and Poetry about Family Caregiving, Carol Levine, Vanderbilt University Press, 2014.

Kindle $8.69      Paperback $19.00

November 14

Driving Miss Norma: One Family’s Journey Saying Yes to Living, Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle, 2017 (non-fiction)


Kindle $10.99    Paperback $13.47


December 12

Husbands and Wives

Introduction, pp. 51-53

 The Ship Pounding, poem, Donald Hall, 2   pages                                         Altzheimer’s: The Husband, poem, CK   Williams, 1 page                                   Altzheimer’s: The Wife, poem, CK Williams, 1   page                                                         He Read to Her, poem, Anne Brashler, 2 pages


Recommended: The Bear Came Over the Mountain, short story, Alice Munro and other selections in section



All reading selections from Living in the Land of Limbo








January 9

Every Note Played, Lisa Genova, 2018 (novel)

 Kindle $11.99     Paperback $16.00

February 13 Parents and Sick Children: TBA Selections from Living in the Land of Limbo
March 13 Relatives, Lovers, and Friends: TBA Selections from Living in the Land of Limbo
April 10

Paid Caregivers:TBA

Selections from Living in the Land of Limbo
May 8 Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo, 1939 (novel)
June 12

Impaired Physician Caregivers

Old Doc Rivers, William Carlos Williams, short story

An Awkward Business, Anton Chekhov, short story

William Carlos Williams, Old Doc Rivers

Anton Chekhov, An Awkward Business