Can Photography Make You a Better Doctor?


In this talk, “Can Photography Make You a Better Doctor?: Reflections on a Life in Photography and Medicine,” Duke pediatrician and photographer John Moses discusses how he has used photography over the last twenty-five years to better understand the lives of his patients and hopefully become a better doctor.

Moses first came to photography while an undergraduate at Duke, where he studied with photographer Alex Harris. After graduating, he spent a year photographing the living and working conditions of migrant workers in North Carolina and Florida. Upon completing his residency in pediatrics, with a grant from the Lyndhurst Foundation, Moses worked halftime as a pediatrician in Henderson, North Carolina and halftime as a documentarian using photography to explore the issue of adolescent pregnancy. This work was published in the book, “The Youngest Parents,” in collaboration with Dr. Robert Coles and photographer Jocelyn Lee.

In this talk, Moses also shares his photographs of primary care-givers across the country, as well as a more intimate portrait of one primary care-giver in Coates, North Carolina. Moses ends with images from his current work with young gunshot victims in Durham.

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