Courses vary annually. Please see the course catalog for this year's options.

Examples of recent courses include:

140.50 Narrative Medicine: Public Medical Writing (3 units) Fall, Winter, Spring

Instructor(s): L. Aronson

Restrictions: This course will be offered 2-3 times a year in two week blocks. It will not be offered every quarter students need to check course listings before signing up. All quarters but summer should be possible Activities: Clinical Experience/Patient Contact, Independent Study, Project

Public Medical Writing uses the basic tools of literature - language and story - to represent, interpret, synthesize and educate health professionals, legislators and the public about the key issues in medicine. This course will provide training in narrative craft skills, critical reading of a range of public medical writings, and mentorship in the drafting and revision of one or more works for submission to a journal, newspaper or magazine.


170.02 Social Activism in Medicine (1 units) Fall

Instructor(s): S. Jain Prerequisite(s): None.

Restrictions: None. Activities: Lecture

This course explores social, political, and behavior factors that effect the health of individuals as well as opportunities for health care providers to impact both individual patients as well as larger communities. Course faculty are socially active in their communities and discuss successes and challenges of performing this type of work.


170.38 Medical Student as Writer (1 units) Fall, Winter, Spring

Instructor(s): N. Wadhwani, L. Aronson. 

Prerequisite(s): None

Restrictions: None Activities: Workshop

To inspire & develop physician-writers of all types by exploring ways writing can inform, shape, & become part of a medical career. Class has three parts 1) UCSF physician-writers describe their careers and ways in which writing contributed to their success and satisfaction 2) discussion of one type of medical writing based on assigned reading 3) brief writing exercise. This course is part of a longitudinal course series on writing in medicine (essay, narrative, advocacy, blog, scientific).


Poets on Parnassus Writing Workshop (non credit)

Instructor(s): D. Watts.

350 Parnassus, Room #900

4:30 pm


198 Independent Study in Writing and Medicine, Narrative Medicine, or Medical Humanities.


170.31A Narrative Medicine (1 units) Fall

Instructor(s): L. Aronson, P. Linde Prerequisite(s): None

Restrictions: None Activities: Lecture

A team-taught lecture/discussion overview of the rapidly growing field of Narrative Medicine. Sessions will include narrative approaches to medical care; literary reflections on the patient/doctor encounter; poetry and medicine; medicine in the popular press; insights from memoirs and other illness narratives; writing the medical experience; taking the patient's point of view: literature as guide to cross-cultural care.


170.33 Humanism in Medicine: Using Literature as a Role Model (1 units) Fall, Spring

Instructor(s): H. Watts Prerequisite(s): None

Restrictions: None Activities: Lecture

No standard script exists for the humane practice of medicine or nursing. Students learn and practitioners maintain this art only by a constant reawakening of humanistic values. The Mentoring Shop brings together three reliable resources for learning and self-improvement: literature, the seasoned role model and the creative arts. By examining the methods of others directly and vicariously we may discover our own techniques for a successful integration of these qualities into daily practice.


170.35 Narrative Med: Preparing for Practice in a Diverse Society (1 units) Fall

Instructor(s): L. Aronson Prerequisite(s): None

Restrictions: None Activities: Seminar

This course offers instruction in close reading to teach cultural competence. Reading short stories from underserved communities, students will increase their narrative competence 'their ability to cohere multiple perspectives and awareness of tone, conflict, and purpose. These skills provide a foundation for reflective writing and cultural awareness and are essential to professional development.



For Residents and Fellows

Writing for Change Seminars:

1) Internal Medicine, SFGH Primary Care, 2) Family and Community Medicine, 3) Others Upon Request

Palliative Care Fellowship

Independent Studies in Public Medical Writing, Narrative Advocacy, or Literature and Medicine