About The Literature, Arts & Medicine Database

The Literature, Arts, & Medicine Database is an annotated multimedia listing of prose, poetry, film, video and art that was developed to be a dynamic, accessible, comprehensive resource for teaching and research in MEDICAL HUMANITIES, and for use in health/pre-health, graduate and undergraduate liberal arts and social science settings. It is a multi-institutional project (see Editorial Board) that was initiated by faculty of the New York University School of Medicine, Felice Aull, Martin Nachbar, Karen Brewer; programming specialist Roy Smith; and then-medical student Irene Chen, '96. Felice Aull retired as editor-in-chief in January, 2011 and is now editor emerita. Lucy Bruell took over as editor-in-chief September 1, 2011. The on-line database began in Gopher Internet format in the summer of 1993 and was converted to Web format in 1994 by Martin Nachbar and Roy Smith. In 2006 Yoo Kyung Chang, Eunbong Sohn and William Holloway re-designed the database to a dynamic Web format. This Web site is produced and maintained by Division of Educational Informatics (DEI), formerly the Hippocrates Project-- the multi-disciplinary development laboratory for application of information technologies to medical education at New York University School of Medicine.

REVIEWS OF THE DATABASE: For reviews of this site, see Science: 316 (5832), 22 June, 2007, p. 1675; Medical Education Online: 2007, 12: http://www.med-ed-online.org/; Medical Reference Services Quarterly: 25(1) pp. 49-57, Spring 2006; Annals of Internal Medicine: 128(11) pp. 959-962, 1998; Literature and Medicine: 16(2) p.273, 1997.

EDITORIAL POLICY: Annotations are written by the editors--an invited group of scholars--and, in rare instances, by individuals working under their direct supervision. The editors choose the works they annotate because they have found them to be useful in Medical Humanities teaching or related projects, or because they have potential usefulness for teaching and scholarship in the Medical Humanities. We regret that we are unable to consider unsolicited contributions. We are open to suggestions for works not yet included.

UPDATING THE DATABASE: New annotations are added regularly and can be accessed directly from the database home page, "What's New", which lists as "new" any material added during the previous 90 days. Dates of creation and modification are indicated on each annotation.

HOW TO FIND ANNOTATIONS: See left-hand (blue) panel. Annotations are subdivided into Art, Literature, Film/Video, Theater listings. (Books with art works and literary pieces that reference art are also listed in the Arts database.) Artists and authors are listed alphabetically. In addition, there are several search options on the bottom of the left hand panel. "Annotation Search" allows a search by title, if known, or alphabetically by letter of the alphabet; or by phrase (for example ), or by literary genre. Annotations can also be found by Keyword -- a topic list that the editors developed. Authors, artists, directors, or actors can be found using "People Search"; "Advanced People Search" provides a search for physician or nurse authors, or people of selected sex, ethnicity, era, or national origin. In addition, a Free Text Search program using a Google engine allows searches of any desired word, phrase, or name.

A few words about the why and how designation of ethnicity in the "people" section: medical training and education in current North America is paying considerable attention to global health, immigrant health, minority health, diversity, and cultural sensitivity; in addition, cross cultural study is of interest to scholars from various fields. In order to facilitate access to the work of authors and artists whose ethnicities have been underrepresented in the West, the database editor has identified some authors and artists by ethnicity (among other characteristics). In those cases, ethnicity was self-assigned or publicly acknowledged and is reflected in the body of work by that person. The selection has been given careful thought but is somewhat arbitrary and leaves out many groups. It is hoped this categorization will be useful and that it will provide no reasons for offense.


For more information about the database, contact Lucy Bruell at litmed@nyumc.org. For technical assistance connecting to the database, contact DEI  at 212-263-2053.