coulehanJack Coulehan, MD, MPH

Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine
Director Emeritus
Division of Medicine in Society
Literature and Medicine
Clinical Ethics


Jack Coulehan is Emeritus Professor of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine and Senior Fellow of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. He graduated from St. Vincent College (BA) and the University of Pittsburgh (MD, MPH); completed residencies in internal medicine and public health at the University of Pennsylvania, Wake Forest University, and the University of Pittsburgh. Until his retirement in 2007, Jack directed the ethics and humanities program at Stony Brook medical school and chaired the ethics case consultation service at University Hospital. He is the author of over 200 articles and book chapters in the medical literature, ranging in topic from clinical trials of depression treatment in primary care and studies of heart disease among Navajo Indians to essays on medical humanities, professionalism, and the physician-patient relationship. Jack’s poems and stories have appeared in major literary magazines and medical journals in the United States, Canada, England, and Australia; and his work is widely anthologized. His collections of poetry include The Knitted Glove (1991), First Photographs of Heaven (1994), The Heavenly Ladder (2001), and Medicine Stone (2002). He is the author or editor of several other books, most recently The Medical Interview: Mastering Skills for Clinical Practice (5th edition, 2006) and Primary Care: More Poems of Physicians (2006). Among Jack’s honors are the Distinguished Service Award, U.S. Public Health Service; NEH Fellowship in Medical Humanities; Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Award for Poetry; Aesculapius Award for Excellence in Teaching; American Nurses’ Association Award for Best Book, 2001; Merck Fellowship at Yaddo; American College of Physicians Award for Poetry; and the Humanities Award of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 2006. In 2012 he received the Nicholas Davies’ Award from the American College of Physicians for “outstanding contributions to humanism in medicine.”

Master’s Courses
The Literature, Compassion, and Medical Care

Refereed Articles and Essays

Coulehan J. Worms. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2008; 300: 1976-1977.

Shapiro J, Coulehan J, Wear D, Montello M. Medical Humanities and Their Discontents: Definitions, Critiques, and Implications. Academic Medicine. 2009; 84: 192-198.

Coulehan J. Smashed Pots. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2009; 150: 650-651.

Coulehan J. Shingles Does It. Health Affairs, Narrative Matters, 2009; 28: 1509-1514.

Coulehan J. Compassionate Solidarity: Suffering, Poetry, and Medicine. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 2009; 52: 585-603.

Coulehan J. The Case of the Proliferating Paradigms, Qualitative Health Research, 2009; 19: 1379-1382.

Book Chapters

Coulehan J . Imagining the House of God, in Conley C, Kohn M (Eds.) Return to the House of God, Kent, Ohio, Kent State University Press, 2008, pp. 106-116.

Coulehan J . In the Middle of Life’s Journey, in Berlin R. (Ed.) Poets on Prozac: Mental Illness, Treatment, and the Creative Process, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008, pp. 92-104.

Coulehan J. William Osler’s Beloved Friend: Sir Thomas Browne and Religio Medici, in LaCombe M, Elpern DJ (Eds.) Osler’s Bedside Library. Great Writers Who Inspired a Great Physician. Philadelphia, American College of Physicians, 2009, pp. 11-26.

Reviews and Commentary

oulehan J. Review of In the Land of Pain by Alphonse Daudet. Medical Ethics (Lahey Clinic). 2008; 15 (1): 7.

Coulehan J. Review of How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman, The Pharos. 2008; 71, Spring: 39-40.

Coulehan J. Reviews of Life in the Balance: A Physician’s Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss with Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia by Thomas Graboys; and The Light Within: The Extraordinary Story of a Doctor and Patient Brought Together by Cancer, by Lois S. Ramondetta and Deborah Rose Sills. The Pharos. 2009; 72, Spring: 43-45.

Coulehan J. Horse and Buggy Doctor. Commentary, Medicine and the Arts, Academic Medicine. 2009; 84: 635.

Coulehan J. Rescuing Sympathy, NYU Literature, Arts, and Medicine Blog, posted November 30, 2009.

Morse J, Coulehan J, Thorne S, Bottoroff J, Cheek J, Kuzel T. Data Expressions or Expressing Data. Qualitative Health Research (editorial), 2 009; 19: 1035 - 1036.


“Ghazal on Miracles,” JAMA, 2008; 300: 1628

“Grackles,” JAMA, 2008; 300: 1390

“Five Moons of Venus,” Connecticut River Review, August 2008, p. 28

“Some Questions,” Chest, 2008; 134: 1106

“Zoster,” JAMA, 2008; 300: 1002

“Procedures,” Oyez Review, Vol. 36 (Spring), p. 40

“Case History,” JAMA, 2009; 302: 1737

“Pantoun on a Line From Alphonse Daudet,” California Quarterly, 2009; 35 (2): 34

“Nothing Is Sacred,” Annals of Internal Medicine, 2009; 151: 686

“No Clues” and “Benign,” Annals of Internal Medicine, 2009; 151: 803 and 822

“Pantoun on Lines by William Osler,” JAMA, 2009; 302: 1844

“Babushka,” JAMA, 2009; 302: 2066

Aesculapius,” Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2009; 181: E242