“Why Doctors Write” Film & Conversation

 BLR@20 Festival: Celebrating BLR’s 20th Anniversary. 

BLR and Ken Browne Productions offered an exclusive screening of the award-winning documentary Why Doctors Write: Finding Humanity in Medicine.

After the documentary, BLR‘s editor-in-chief Danielle Ofri moderated a live conversation with two other doctors from the movie, Rafael Campo and Jennifer Adaeze Owerekwu, along with director Ken Browne.

Event has passed, but you can still watch the panel discussion.

If you’d like to see the documentary, please visit Ken Browne Productions.


Why Doctors Write: Finding Humanity in Medicine is a documentary feature film about the intersection of medicine and literature. It brings viewers into areas of the medical world where creative writing and reflective reading are transforming doctors, nurses, medical students, and other healthcare workers. This growing movement is renewing humanism in medicine, at a time when technology, managed care, and other constraints encroach upon the doctor-patient connection. The film was featured at the 2020 United Nations Film Festival.


Jennifer Adaeze Owerekwu, MD, MS,  is currently a Women’s Mental Health Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is a columnist for STAT and focuses on her medical training. 

Rafael Campo, MD, MA, is an internist at Harvard Medical School and Poetry Editor for JAMA New work appears in  American Poetry Review, Poets.org, and Scientific American.  His most recent book is Comfort Measures Only: New and Selected Poems.  www.rafaelcampo.com

Ken Browne is an Emmy Award winning producer of documentary films about education, sports, and the arts. www.kbprods.com

Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD, is a primary care doctor at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, and editor-in-chief of the Bellevue Literary Review. She is a clinical professor of medicine at NYU. Her newest book is When We Do Harm, A Doctor Confronts Medical Error. www.danielleofri.com

Why Doctors Write brilliantly captures the transformative and healing power writing and the other arts can have when physicians creatively express the emotions they have for so long buried. “
      — Faculty member, Schmidt College of Medicine, Boca Raton, Florida

“The film was the perfect inspiration for our panel discussion with faculty and students, and many audience members left committed to making more time for writing in their busy clinical careers. Bravo to Ken Browne for exploring this important topic so beautifully.”
       — Director of Medical Humanities, Thomas Jefferson University Kimmel College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“Thank you for creating Why Doctors Write, and exploring the unique role and privilege of healing as both physician and writer.” 
      –medical student, Zucker School of Medicine, Hofstra/Northwell, Hempstead, New York

“Why Doctors Write… shows humanism in healthcare in action and illuminates this tool that doctors are using to nurture their own humanity and well-being. Physician-authors and long-time ambassadors of the Gold Foundation Drs. Rita Charon and Danielle Ofri share their perspectives on the power of writing. The Gold Foundation is proud to support this important work.”
      — Dr. Richard I. Levin, President/CEO of the Gold Foundation