August 10, 2022

Yale medical and art students collaborate on literary magazine

Whispers, Yale’s health professions student literary magazine, recently published its Winter 2019 issue, themed “Self Reflection.” Through poetry, prose, and visual arts, students address issues of hope, belonging, medical training, and personal continuity. Whispers is available in pdf and in print.

This edition, the fifth since its inception in 2012, marks what its editors hope will be a long tradition of collaboration between students at Yale School of Medicine (YSM) and Yale School of Art (YSA), “a partnership that makes tangible the union of art and science that we strive to achieve in the health professions.

The collaboration is reflected in the leadership of the journal. The two content editors are YSM students Natty Doilicho ’22 and Kevin Wang ’22, and the two design editors are YSA students Luiza Dale ’21 and Tuan Pham ’20. Wang states that “our idea behind the collaboration was to produce a publication that truly and deeply reflected the themes and the community we represented, and we were fortunate to be just a few blocks from the art school, a place where we could find people who were completely committed to the importance of artistic design.” Wang adds that the collaborations testify “to the true value of being in a place as multidimensional and creative as Yale”.

Dale and Pham designed the journal to enhance its theme. Wang explains, for example, that “the cover photo is shaped like a capsule, reflecting our hope that this publication will almost serve as a prescription for members of the Yale medical community to take a moment out of their busy lives to read. and reflect.” They plan to use this design as a continuing pattern in future issues.

In addition, each page of the diary is associated with a blank page, to encourage readers to use it as a diary, adding their own thoughts. Additionally, the print edition is small enough to fit in a back pocket or white coat, as the editors hope readers will take the opportunity to introspect with them.

The printed editions, as well as Whispers Pens for writing reflections will be available at YSM Medical Humanities Program events. In an effort to strengthen ties between Yale and the New Haven community, the publishers are asking for a minimum donation of five dollars for a print edition, with proceeds going to the local nonprofit LEAP (Leadership, Education & Athletics in Partnership).

The four YSM alumni who founded Whispers as students, Lorenzo Sewanan ’16, Jake Izenberg ’13, Christine Sunu ’15, and Matt Meizlish ’16, hoped to “give all Yale health professional students a space for creativity and expression, in s ‘drawing on the parallels between the profoundly human art of healing and the engagement of the senses and sensibilities in the arts,” says Sewanan, adding that it originally operated without institutional support, but benefits from now with strong support from the YSM program for the humanities in medicine and its director, Professor Anna Reisman, MD Sewanan believes that each issue “became a unique product with a distinctive style and became a snapshot of student experiences contemporary times and their climate”.

While Whispers is traditionally published every two years, says Wang “Natty and I hope to continue the special partnership we formed with Luiza and Tuan to produce another issue soon.”

Poetry, prose, art, and digital media submissions are welcome from faculty, residents, students, and staff in Yale’s health professions community at any time. The editors encourage those interested in submitting work to visit yalemurmurs.squarespace.com, view submission guidelines, or send questions to: whispers.ysm@gmail.com.