A Gallery of Writing

About Literary AMWA

The effective practice of healthcare requires the ability to recognize, absorb, interpret, and act on the stories and plights of others. This ability, known as narrative competence, enables the physician to practice medicine with empathy, reflection, professionalism, and trustworthiness. Such a practice is called narrative medicine [1].

Narrative medicine can change the way we practice by focusing on the emotional integrity of a patient’s story and how we react as humane clinicians. Practicing narrative medicine enables providers to connect with their patients through illness and suffering, reflect upon their individual journeys through medicine, create dialogue and empower relationships with fellow healthcare colleagues, and promote public health advocacy in today’s society.

Literary AMWA is a gallery of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry writing from women physicians and physicians-in-training who hope to foster healing through storytelling.



Open Call for Submissions

Many states have enacted destructive anti-trans legislation, from endangering trans patients who need gender-affirming care to banning trans athletes from playing and competing in sports in accordance with their gender identity. We denounce these laws for not accepting or respecting that trans women are women and that trans men are men. As advocates of intersectional feminism, we call for submissions by trans physicians and physicians-in-training to share their experiences in healthcare and medicine and for submissions that focus on trans patients and their care. For submissions that focus on trans patients, we ask that writers take special care in making sure no identifying characteristics are shared in submissions, given the privacy issues trans folks face in many aspects of their lives. Please share your nonfiction, fiction, and poetry with us by filling out this form.

Open Call for Submissions

The rise of anti-Asian hate crimes and violence has been devastating. Discrimination against Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders, as well as the erasure of AAPI stories have gone on for too long. We hope that by calling for submissions by AAPI physicians and physicians-in-training, that we can help shine light on AAPI identity and history. Diaspora, immigration, imperialism, race, and culture each impact the AAPI community’s experience with healthcare and medicine. Please share your nonfiction, fiction, and poetry with us by filling out this form.

Open Call for Submissions

Black lives matter. To amplify the voices of Black women in medicine,  Literary AMWA calls for creative writing submissions by Black physicians and physicians-in-training, and pieces that focus on anti-racism work and advocacy, intersectionality, and experiences of race and culture in healthcare. We invite you to share stories of how you, your colleagues, and your patients have faced systemic injustice and oppression. As an inclusive and diverse literary forum, we are dedicated to highlighting the narratives of marginalized communities, especially those of Black women. We continue to wholeheartedly encourage works from BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and all underrepresented writers. Please share your nonfiction, fiction, and poetry with us by filling out this form.

Open Call for Submissions in Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry

Literary AMWA is an initiative of the Literary Arts and Medicine Task Force. Literary AMWA features an online and print gallery of writing by women who practice the art and science of medicine.

We warmly welcome submissions of any length in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry crafted by women in medicine. Pieces may explore the relationships between physicians and their patients, their colleagues, their families and friends, themselves, and society at large. Writings may focus on the connections achieved with patients through their illness, reflections on individual journeys through medicine, the effects of colleagues on the practice and perspective of medicine, or other topics related to the experience of being a woman physician or physician-in-training. Submissions must not be previously published. Please submit your work by filling out this form.


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In order to protect patient privacy, stories about patients should not have identifying characteristics. If possible, please also have patients sign a consent.

Submission Form
Patient Consent Form


Reading List for the Aspiring Physician Writer

  • Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft by Janet Burroway
  • Master Class on Fiction Writing: Techniques from Austen, Hemingway, and the Other Greats by Adam Sexton
  • A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver
  • Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose
  • Writing Alone and with Others by Pat Schneider
  • Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
  • Other resources from the Gotham Writers Workshop

Narrative Medicine and Patient Confidentiality

Storytelling Webinar

“Empowering Patient Advocacy Leaders (PALs):  The Power of Effective Storytelling in Advocacy” was a webinar held by PALs on January 18, 2017. Presenter Terrence McNally discusses effective elements in storytelling and how to build personal story culture. His presentation slide deck is also available.

Advisory Board

Rita Charon, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center
Executive Director, Program in Narrative Medicine, Columbia University

Eliza Lo Chin, MD, MPH
Executive Director, American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)

Linda Clever, MD
President, RENEW

Sarah Cutrona, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Massachusetts

Gayatri Devi, MD, MS
Director, New York Memory and Healthy Aging Services
Clinical Associate Professor, New York University School of Medicine

Cristina Denise Go, JD
Literary AMWA Co-Lead
Litigation Associate

Anju Goel, MD, MPH
Literary AMWA Co-Lead
Public Health Consultant

Suzanne Leonard Harrison, MD, FAAFP, FAMWA
AMWA Past President
Professor of Family Medicine & Rural Health
Education Director, Family Medicine
Florida State University College of Medicine

Claudia Morrisey-Conlon, MD
U.S. Government Lead, USAID

Audrey Shafer, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioptive, and Pain Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine
Anesthesiologist, Veteran Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System
Director, Medicine and the Muse, Stanford Center of Bioethics

Renda Soylemez Weiner, MD, MPH
Director, Medical Optimization Program Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research
Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial VA Hospital
Associate Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine

Editorial Board

Cristina Denise Go, JD
Literary AMWA Co-Lead
Litigation Associate

Anju Goel, MD, MPH
Literary AMWA Co-Lead
Public Health Consultant

Preeti R. John, MD, MPH, FACS, CPE, HEC-C
Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Monique Mun, MD
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow, University of Texas at Austin/Dell Children’s Hospital

Shae Saunders, MD
PGY-1, ​Family Medicine
​Riverstone Health, Billings, MT

Mahima Sukumar, MS, MD Candidate (Class of 2023)
Frank H. Netter, MD School of Medicine

Tana Jean Welch, PhD, MFA
Associate Professor, Florida State University College of Medicine

Mary Pan Wierusz, MD
Family Medicine Physician, Kaiser Permanente Washington
Seattle, WA

Creative Opportunities

Woman-to-Woman Medicine

Woman-to-Woman Medicine is currently collecting memoirs from women medical students and their physician mentors. These stories should explore how mentorships have impacted women’s journeys through medicine. Become a part of Woman-to-Woman Medicine’s mission and enter your submission on mentorship.


The University of Washington School of Medicine Medical Humanities and Narrative Medicine Interest Group would like to showcase physician artwork and stories. Share your creativity on their platform, Openhearted.