From the Nominator
Medicine and the Muse started a newsletter in 2018 to create a space to reflect on the contents of the quarter and preview programming for the quarter ahead. Our goal was to communicate more efficiently with our community of arts and humanities medical students, faculty and staff at the Stanford University School of Medicine. With so many fine events happening every day, it’s easy to miss an incredible lecture, or journal submission opportunity. When the pandemic reached California in March, by the end of the month we were publishing every week. The infrastructure was already in place to supply information and support to our community; instead of writing about past events, we found ourselves asking: what can we provide to the people who are vitally engaged in the pandemic right now that might actually make a difference?
What emerged were three programs: a weekly virtual concert by and for healthcare professionals, a weekly virtual writing workshop for healthcare professionals, and a weekly newsletter to help spread the word.
Readership numbers rose and our number of subscribers has tripled. Thousands have attended our virtual [email protected] Concerts and Virtual Writing Medicine Workshops. These spaces provide a safe harbor for the rising emotional demands of this unprecedented time. And writers from these workshops fuel the newsletter: some choose to submit their work. This provides a rare opportunity to learn from the experiences of other doctors—doctors like themselves. The newsletter is at once a microphone and a space for remembering one is not alone.
From the Judges
The team set out to answer the question, “What can we provide to the people who are vitally engaged in the pandemic right now that might actually make a difference?” This team succeeded. This is a very different concept that met an audience need at a critical time and quickly built audience engagement and participation. Excellent avoidance of any cliched approach to the pandemic. Tremendously personal, impactful content. We were impressed with the sensitivity, qualitative, and quantitative impact of this newsletter.