In 2010, the Duke Graduate Medical Education Innovation Fund provided seed funding to pilot “Documenting Medicine,” a program which pairs Duke physician residents and fellows with documentarians at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies to produce small documentary projects exploring medical stories over the course of nine months. These projects are then shared in Grand Rounds, conferences, poster sessions, exhibits, community educational events and other venues.
John Moses, a primary care pediatrician at Duke University Medical Center and photographer, understands the value of putting a camera, audio recorder or pen into the hands of practicing physicians. ”Using the tools of documentary helps clinicians examine any number of health concerns in a fresh and eye-opening way, while also producing materials (images, audio, film) that others can learn from,” says Dr. Moses. For the last ten years, in addition to a busy clinical practice, Dr. Moses has been teaching two undergraduate courses, Medicine and the Vision of Documentary Photography and Children and the Experience of Illness, in which students teach photography to children being treated for illness and write about their experiences during the semester. Dr. Moses has also produced a number of documentary projects and has had work published in several books. He is a frequent lecturer to Duke medical students.
Liisa Ogburn, an instructor at the Center for Documentary Studies, directs the program. Funding will support Duke residents and fellows through 2012/2013.