Tag Archives: Richard Selzer

Impostor syndrome: Richard Selzer’s life of doubt

Mahala Yates Stripling Fort Worth, Texas, United States   Richard Selzer in the two-act play The Doctor Stories “I am called by the name of Chekhov. Each time I hear it, I blush and cringe. He had true genius; I just do the best I can. There is an enormous difference. I do believe it is […]

Richard Selzer on writing

Photography by pikimota   Someone asked me why a surgeon would write. Why, when the shelves are already too full? They sag under the deadweight of books. To add a single adverb is to risk exceeding the strength of the boards. A surgeon should abstain.  A surgeon, whose fingers are more at home in the steamy […]

The surgeon storyteller

Mahala Yates Stripling Fort Worth, Texas, United States   Detail of Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University Arriving early as usual, Richard Selzer leaned on his cane near the High Street entrance to the Sterling Memorial Library. Now at 5’ 7” and 123 pounds, this world-famous doctor-writer looked diminutive, dressed in his tan corduroy pants […]

Richard Selzer on writing

Photography by pikimota   Someone asked me why a surgeon would write. Why, when the shelves are already too full? They sag under the deadweight of books. To add a single adverb is to risk exceeding the strength of the boards. A surgeon should abstain.  A surgeon, whose fingers are more at home in the steamy […]

The surgeon storyteller

Mahala Yates Stripling Fort Worth, Texas, United States   Detail of Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University Arriving early as usual, Richard Selzer leaned on his cane near the High Street entrance to the Sterling Memorial Library. Now at 5’ 7” and 123 pounds, this world-famous doctor-writer looked diminutive, dressed in his tan corduroy pants […]

Richard Selzer: the birth of literature and medicine

Mahala Yates Stripling Fort Worth, Texas, USA   Richard Selzer was among the first physicians to understand the power of writing and reading fiction within medicine. He helped to open up this whole territory to those of us who came after. His legacy is, on the one hand, the text—what he’s written—and, on the other […]