The Desire to Heal: A Doctor’s Education in Empathy, Identity, and Poetry.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

4:30–6:00 p.m.

doors open, 4 p.m.

Hiebert Lounge
72 East Concord Street

#DesireToHeal #SPHReads






Empathy in Medicine

Importance of Identity

Poetry in Patients’ Words

SPH Reads is a school-wide program hosted by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The 2019 selection, nominated by the Queer Alliance, is The Desire to Heal: A Doctor’s Education in Empathy, Identity, and Poetry, by Rafael Campo.

A memoir published in 1997, The Desire to Heal is a collection of essays exploring the author’s Cuban-American identity, his coming to terms as a gay man and physician during the emergence of HIV/AIDS in America, and his inescapable bond to the young patients—mostly brown-skinned gay men—he and his colleagues could not keep from dying.

Dr. Rafael Campo is a physician and a poet. He is a primary care practitioner at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a professor at Harvard Medical School. He has published eight books of poetry and won several poetry awards. He is the editor of the Poetry and Medicine section of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).


Rafael Campo, Poet and Physician, Harvard Medical School


Get Involved

Connect with SPH

How to engage with us on social media:

  • Follow @busph and tag us in your stories and posts on all platforms
  • Post, like, and retweet content, using event hashtag and tagging speaker(s)
  • Share event information on social media
  • Send registration link to your networks