Bookworm Podcast Episode 1


Zachary and Kestra in front of Niagara Falls Canada

Welcome to episode 1 of the Bookworm Podcast. For our first episode, we are going to try and understand the significance of medical humanities and the connections between humanities and scientifically driven fields. To accomplish this, we are joined by a future medical school student: my wife Kestra Black.

Kestra Black earned her B.S. in Biology at the University of Nevada, Reno, and has worked in a patient-facing healthcare setting for 4 years. Her first position was Patient Transporter at Renown Health and then she was an EKG/Cardiac Technician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Shadyside Hospital. Becoming a doctor has been her dream since starting her Bachelor’s degree and she will be starting her first year at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) this Fall; she plans to specialize in cardiology since she has always found the heart fascinating.

As a couple, we’ve never been shy about sharing our coursework, specific jargon, and interest with each other. You could say we often find more compromises as opposed to differences in our literary and experimental backgrounds. I invited Kestra to attend the Northeast Modern Language Association (NEMLA) 2023 conference with me to not only see Niagara Falls but choose from numerous panels of prevalent topics for any background. Kestra related the most to a panel concerning generational trauma related to global warming and a medical humanities workshop. She found that her fellow medical students, doctors, and healthcare professionals alike can better serve their patients once medical school curriculums and healthcare settings incorporate humanities traits such as open-mindedness toward diversity.

The book from the NEMLA panel Kestra describes is titled Greenwood: A Novel by Michael Christie. Check it out and even purchase it here.

We have plenty more stories from NEMLA and other interactions which combine both of our fields. If you would like to hear more from us, please share, comment, or connect with Zachary or Kestra.

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