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Health humanities and nature-based therapies: Opportunities for Publishing and Presenting in the Health Humanities

This guide serves as a resource site for materials concerning health humanities, and nature therapy

Sharing Writing and Art in the Medical Community

Narratives- stories- are important in the practice of medicine- physicians build their practice around receiving and sharing stories in diagnosing and treatment.  For people with medical conditions, sharing their stories can be healing and indeed profoundly liberating.  Not surprisingly, there is a significant amount of literature on the power of stories for humans- who are hardwired to learn and build community through story.  There also are many physician writers- poets, essayists, and people who tell stories through a variety of artistic media.  They share through a variety of media including but not limited to student-run journals, open access journals, subscription based journals, and conferences.


There are a number of conferences that feature work in the health humanities or more specific areas such as history of medicine.  A few of these that are focused most specifically on these topics are listed below.  It is possible to present medical humanities-related projects at more generalist conferences, or conferences dedicated to medical education, academic medicine, or specialties within medicine.  Also to more general history conferences.   The conferences below also are generally fairly small and are good places for students presenting for the first time. 

1. The one conference that focuses the most on writing in the health humanities is:
The Examined Life   It is organized by the University of Iowa College of Medicine and held in Iowa City on an annual basis.

2.The Mayo Clinic has an annual Humanities in Medicine Conference  that rotates between the three locations- Minnesota, Arizona, and Florida. This particular conference tends to have the greatest involvement of clinicians in presentations.

3. Health Humanities Consortium is organized by a different institution every year so it's location varies.

4. Western Michigan University Medical Humanities annual conference held annually at the Homer Stryker MD College of Medicine in Kalamazoo, MI. This conference tends to have more of a focus on philosophy and history, with representation from other aspects of the humanities.

5. Association for Medical Humanities organized by the University of Limerick in Ireland holds an annual conference.

6. American Society for Bioethics and Humanities has an annual conference whose location also varies from year to year.

7. Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science holds an annual conference at a location in the South.

Essay and Poetry Contests

The Art of Communication in Psychiatry. Created by the University of Missouri-Kansas City and open to medical students.

Association for Academic Psychiatry Medical Student Essay Award

Conley Art of Medicine Contest.

Hellen H. Glaser Student Essay Award. Sponsored by Alpha Omega Alpha and open to medical students.

Hope Babette Tang Humanism in Healthcare Essay Contest. This annual contest is open to submissions from nursing and medical students in response to an annual prompt and is sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation

Stanley M. Kaplan Essay Contest.  Created by the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and open to all US medical students.

Open Access Journals- primarily associated with Medical Schools

Many of these journals are student run.

Abaton. Des Moines University of Medicine and Health Science 

Ars Medica. Published Biannually, a journal of Medicine, the Arts, and Humanities 

Atrium. A publication of Northwestern University's School of Medicine, through the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities

Bellevue Literary Review.  Published through New York University 

Blood and Thunder. University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

Body Electric. University of Illinois College of Medicine- may not currently be published

Dermanities: Journal of Community and Person Centered Dermatology. A journal focused on dermatology and humanities.

Ether Arts. Humanism in Medicine, through The Ohio State University College of Medicine

The Examined Life.  The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine runs this journal.  The University of Iowa is particularly well known for its Writer's Program, and the College also runs the Examined Life Conferences.

Healing Muse. State University of New York, Upstate Medical University, published by the Center for Bioethics and Humanities..

Hektoen. A Journal for the Humanities.

Hospital Drive.  University of Virginia School of Medicine

Humanism Evolving through Arts and Literature (HEAL). Florida State University College of Medicine

Intima. A Journal of Narrative Medicine.

Iris. University of North Carolina's School of Medicine Literary and Art Journal

Journal of Arts and Aesthetics in Nursing and Health Sciences.  This journal accepts material from all health care disciplines.

The Journal of Narrative Visions. An online journal for specialties and practices focused on vision care.

Lumen. Edinburgh Medicine in Literature Reading Group

Medical Muse. Journal devoted to the musings of the University of New Mexico's health sciences center community

Medical Student Press Journal. Supports the expression of medical students worldwide

New Physician Magazine. Published through AMSA and open to all medical students.

The Perch. Published through the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health

Pharos. Published through Alpha Omega Alpha, not limited to AOA members.

Plexus. The University of California, Irvine College of Medicine.

Pulse Magazine. An online magazine sharing experiences of giving and receiving health care.

Reflexions: The Literary and Fine Arts Journal. Published through Columbia University's Irving MEdical Center.

The Script. University of Central Florida College of Medicine.

Survive and Thrive.  A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine. Published through St. Cloud State University 

Third Space. Student-run medical humanities online journal at Harvard Medical School.

Wild Onions.  Published through the Department of Humanities at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine

Subscription based Journals

There are both subscription journals focused on writing and arts in healthcare.and medical journals that have sections focused on arts in medicine.  Some of these journals may not be available if you are outside University of Florida's network, or you will need to access through your own institutional network.

Academic Medicine. click on About This Journal and then find Medicine and the Arts (MATA) and Teaching and Learning Moments (TLM) in Complete Instructions for Authors 

Academic Psychiatry. Publishes significant articles on the arts and humanities in psychiatry and medical education.

American Journal of Nursing Reflections. Accepts submissions from all healthcare specialties

American Journal of Psychiatry.

Annals of Family Medicine.  Look under reflections. 

British Medical Journal. Look for Fillers/Clinical Opinions.

Canadian Medical Journal.  Look for humanities under submission guidelines.

Configurations.  Published through the Johns Hopkins University Press, this is the publication of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. 

JAMA. Look for humanities guidelines under submissions

JAMA Pediatrics. On My Mind section

JAMA Oncology. In the JAMA network, in particular has a poetry section as well as cancer care chronicles

Journal of Clinical Oncology. Has a section on the Art of Oncology

Journal of General Internal Medicine. Has a Healing Arts Section 

Journal of Palliative Medicine.  Has a Reflections Section

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.  The Old Lives Tales section publishes narratives

Literature and Medicine. Published through the Johns Hopkins University Press.

Medical Encounter. Available to American Academy on Communication in Healthcare (AACH) members

Medical Humanities.  Published through the BMJ

Patient Education and Practice. Has a section on Reflective Practice

Music and Medicine. An Interdisciplinary journal. Hosted by  the International Association for Music and Medicine.

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