UI Doctors Practice Creativity as Part of Writing Group

Loreen Herwaldt, M.D.
Loreen Herwaldt, M.D.

Several University of Iowa physicians are trying their hand at something other than practicing medicine. The Internal Medicine Writers' Group -- a group made up of several faculty, fellows, residents and emeritus faculty from the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa -- aims to give a creative outlet to medical professionals who otherwise might not have the opportunity to craft and share their work.

Participants write poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction or personal essays and meet once a month for about an hour to read, critique and discuss drafts with their colleagues. About 50 physicians have participated at least once in the writers' group, with attendance ranging anywhere from two to 15 people for each session.

"The University of Iowa has a wonderful tradition of literary excellence in the Iowa Writers' Workshop," said Scott Vogelgesang, M.D., UI clinical professor and director of the internal medicine residency program. "I think it's important to take advantage of this local expertise, particularly since we have a number of physicians with an interest in writing and literature."

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