Episode 72: Literature and Medicine, Dr. Andrew Lam and Dr. Emily Silverman



In a special literary focused episode Dr. Andrew Lam of New England Retina Consultants first joins to discuss balancing writing with developing a career as a retinal surgeon, how he came to write "Saving Sight" (link), and his most recent book, "Two Sons of China" (link). Then Dr. Emily Silverman of the University of California San Francisco discusses founding The Nocturnists (link), a group focused on communicating the medical provider experience through literature and the arts.


######## Thanks to @Louie Cai for episode production and @Mike Venincasa for episode outline! ########

Dr. Andrew Lam

[1:02] Introduction

[1:42] How did you end up as a retinal surgeon, and how did you end up as a writer?

[4:10] When studying history, what is your favorite aspect or era?

[5:25] Why do you think we don’t talk about the Eastern Front of WWII? How do different cultures see it differently?

[8:34] Dr. Lam’s describes his impetus to write Two Sons of China.

[9:35] How did you go about researching and writing Saving Sight?

[12:38] One thing people often say about the medical field is that creativity is not always encouraged. Have you ever encountered such resistance when it came to writing your book?

[15:55] Do you have any advice for a medical student, resident, or other physician who has an interest in writing?

[18:51] Dr. Lam discusses a topic close to his heart: the battle between price and efficacy in the medical field when it comes to public finance.

[23:27] Conclusion


Dr. Emily Silverman

[25:55] Introduction

[26:25] What is “The Nocturnists” and why did you start it?

[28:35] Does medical training “squeeze creativity out of you” and did you encounter any resistance in starting your storytelling program?

[30:01] How does sharing stories help people to become better doctors?

[32:48] Is there a therapeutic benefit for physicians telling their stories?

[36:12] What do you see going for the future of “The Nocturnists?”

[37:55] Discussion of Dr. Silverman’s upcoming screenplay.

[39:05] What is your favorite medical-related book, fiction or non-fiction?

[40:40] Conclusion




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Jayanth SridharMiscComment