News at Medicine - July 2009 - Visible Horizons

Visible Horizons
July 9, 2009
Memorial’s medical students recently published the fifth annual Collected Works, titled Visible Horizons. A tradition started in the fall of 2004 as a new humanities initiative by the MUN class of 2007, the publication has grown to encompass writings by students, doctors and patients.

“We know it took a long time to be published,” said Nicholas Smith, who recently finished his second year of medical studies and is the chief editor of Visible Horizon. “All the credit is with the authors. They did a great job and it turned out really well.”

In his introduction to the 2009 Collected Works, Mr. Smith waxes poetic. “Ladies and gentlemen, professors and students, doctors and patients, welcome to the 5th annual publication of The Collected Works! ….we know that anticipation is at an all time high, but we also know that you will be thrilled with this anniversary edition..."

The Collected Works was created with the intention of giving medical students at Memorial a literary voice in a world surrounded by the hard facts of scientific pursuits. The editors this year faced the difficult task of living up to the expectations of producing the high quality work that was the standard in the first four editions.

“I think we will not disappoint,” said Mr. Smith. “Poetry, prose and art filled with laughter, joy, grief and contemplation plaster this year’s Collected Works from cover to cover."

As a unique endeavor for the anniversary edition, the publication was opened to submissions from staff and faculty at Memorial.

In the Letter from the Editor, Smith explains, “Do you think the people who teach us and design our programs have some influence over our thoughts?  If so, is such a notion perceptible in our writing? I challenge you the reader to find common themes and ideas within these works. Do they differ from student to professor? Are we fated to become more jaded as we pass through our years of medicine, or will a career in the health field bring new found treasures to our lives?"

There are 39 photographs, paintings, poems and essays in Visible Horizons, including the simple one-word Treatise on Vegetables by Nicholas Smith “yuck;” and the two-part poem from June 1997 and from March 2005 titled, Sarajevo. WHY? This poem with commentary was written by Dr. Marshall Godwin, now director of Memorial’s Primary Healthcare Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine.

A limited number of hard copies of Visible Horizons are available at the Students Affairs Office, Faculty of Medicine. A PDF of Visible Horizons is available here.