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Narrative Medicine Rounds: “Person Place Thing,” A Conversation with Harriet A. Washington & Randy Cohen


May 02, 2018 - 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.


Faculty Club of Columbia University Medical Center, Physicians & Surgeons Building, 630 W. 168th St., 4th Floor, New York, NY

For our May Narrative Medicine Rounds, we welcome medical journalist, Harriet A. Washington, who will be interviewed by writer Randy Cohen, creator of the radio program, Person Place Thing, an interview show based on this idea: People are particularly engaging when they speak not directly about themselves but about something they care about. Guests talk about one person, one place, and one thing that are important to them. The result? Surprising stories from great talkers. Person Place Thing is produced with JCC in Manhattan and sponsored by WAMC Northeast Public Radio in partnership with Humanities NY.

Harriet A. Washington has been a fellow in ethics at the Harvard Medical School, a fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, and a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University. As a journalist and editor, she has worked for USA Today and several other publications, been a Knight Fellow at Stanford University and has written for such academic forums as the Harvard Public Health Review and The New England Journal of Medicine. Her books include Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present (2008), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Non-Fiction; Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself—And the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future (2012) and most recently, Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science of How We “Catch” Mental Illness (2016).

Randy Cohen is a writer, whose humor pieces, essays, and stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines including The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic, and Young Love Comics. He has won four Emmys, receiving three for his writing for Late Night with David Letterman and one for his work on Michael Moore’s TV Nation. For 12 years he wrote “The Ethicist,” a weekly column for the The New York Times Magazine. His most recent book is Be Good: How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything.

Narrative Medicine Rounds are lectures or readings presented by scholars, clinicians, or writers engaged in work at the intersection of narrative and health care. Rounds are held on the first Wednesday of each month during the Spring and Fall terms from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and are followed by a reception. Rounds are free and open to the public; no RSVP is necessary. Students, staff, faculty, patients, friends, and interested others are warmly welcome to attend.


Harriet A. Washington, medical journalist
Randy Cohen, writer