6:30 – 8:00 pm; Reception 6:00 pm

Suffering binds us in our humanity, and in the opinion of many physicians, medicine is optimally practiced when good evidence-based medicine and compassionate care intersect at the patient’s bedside. Literature, and specifically poetry, may enhance our ability to achieve that intersection. Poetry written by physicians about physicians, nurses, patients, or families may catalyze this effort. Our emotions—suffering, joy, frustration, and others—may be expressed in poetry that we write or altered by the poetry we read.

In this program, four physicians who are advocates of medical poetry—two as writers and two as “consumers” or readers—will offer a perspective on poetry’s value, and some original poetry will be read and discussed.


Dr. Frater received his Bachelor of Science degree from Yale College in 1980, and his medical degree in 1984 from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He received his board certification in Internal Medicine in 1987. He began the practice of Emergency Medicine at Presbyterian hospital of Dallas and was board certified in Critical Care Medicine in 1991 and in Emergency Medicine in 1996. After thirteen years of emergency medical experience, in 2000, he joined the Internal medicine group of Dr. Walter Skinner and Dr. William Cox at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. In 2008, he founded E. Barrow Medical Group to establish a private practice dedicated to delivering comprehensive and highly personalized medical care.


Local cardiologist Dr. John Harper is affiliated with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He has been engaged in clinical cardiology practice at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas for more than 35 years and was chief of cardiology there for eight years. Dr. Harper’s undergraduate major in English from SMU gave him a lifelong passion for literature. He founded and directs an annual Literature + Medicine Seminar, which uses literature to help physicians connect with their patients on a deeper level through healing words.


Lawrence J. Hergott, MD, is Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Senior Scholar in Creative Writing at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Hergott’s scholarly interests include writing essays and poems about how physicians and their loved ones lead the medical life. His publications have appeared in numerous journals, including Annals of Internal Medicine, JAMA, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and the New England Journal of Medicine, among others.



David W. Markham, MD, MSc, is a specialist in general cardiology, heart failure, and cardia transplants at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Markham has been involved in medical humanities programs at multiple universities, organizing conferences and symposia on literature and medicine and advocating for humanities in medical curricula. A Fellow of the Dallas Institute, he believes that art, literature, medicine, and science are all connected in our creative human experience.