SPRING 2019 EDITION
In 2008, six physicians at Stanford Medical Center formed a writers’ circle. They spanned specialties and training levels, and they met each month to share their work, first in private and then at public readings around campus. Because of their affiliation with Stanford’s Medicine and the Muse program, they took the name Pegasus Physician Writers—named after the mythological winged horse who was the muses’ friend and inspiration. Their vision: to humanize medicine through the craft of writing.
Ten years later, this vision is coming to pass. Arts and humanities, after nearly a century on the sidelines, are regaining a prominent place the medical curriculum. The biopsychosocial case study has become a recurring feature in a major academic journal. Clinical storytelling has become performance art. And the Pegasus Physician Authors, now 130 strong under the leadership of Dr. Hans Steiner, have helped to establish Stanford as a leading center in the study and practice of medical humanities.
To celebrate these accomplishments, we at Pegasus mark our 10th anniversary by launching The Pegasus Review: a Medical Literary Journal. Like the best scientific journals, we are dedicated to our profession’s highest ideals: patient confidentiality, intellectual honesty, and an awareness of our biases and limitations. As a literary journal, we are devoted to beauty and committed to craft. We hope to be a platform for new voices, a proving ground for new ideas, and a forum for transformative conversations.
For our first edition, we draw mainly from the archives of the Pegasus Physician Writers and Stanford’s Irvin D. Yalom Literary and Paul Kalanithi Writing Awards. Going forward, we will accept submissions from anyone affected by stories of illness. Our contributors will include patients who live these stories, providers who witness them, and authors who write them down. Like medical scientists, they seek order and meaning amid the chaos of disease. Their stories are as essential as science to the advancement of medicine.
To create a platform for medicine’s unheard and emerging voices.
To explore the interface between the healthcare institution and the individual.
To return stories to the heart of medicine.