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Learning from the Humanities

By William Zellmer posted 01-18-2024 15:18


Many ASHP members will be interested in a novel and engaging podcast that shows how selections from the humanities (e.g., literature, films, works of art) can be applied in health professional education and practice. Launched in 2022, “The Clinic & The Person” is narrated by the podcast’s creators, J. Russell Teagarden and Daniel Albrant. Teagarden came to his interest in applying insights from the humanities to biomedicine after decades in clinical pharmacy practice and research. Albrant had a long career in clinical pharmacy practice before preparing for the ministry and becoming a pastor.

The podcast’s intended audience includes healthcare practitioners, educators, and students who sense that the dominant scientific and technical focus of their field is sometimes not sufficient preparation for addressing the emotional and subjective facets of patient care. For example, it’s one thing to know how to titrate the medicine regimen of a patient with Parkinson’s disease; it’s something else entirely to deeply understand the patient’s experience—and to empathize with the patient’s feelings about the disease and the effects of treatment to better guide the patient toward an optimal outcome.

A typical installment of the podcast spotlights a particular illness and interprets related artistic work that offers insights into the experience of patients with that illness.

More information on accessing this free monthly podcast and on the individuals behind it (including executive producer Anne Bentley) is available at