Lectures & Speaking Topics

An Anatomy of Addiction
Drawing from his best-selling book, Dr. Markel tells the astonishing account of the years-long cocaine use of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, and William Halsted, the father of modern surgery. While describing the physical and emotional damage caused by the then-heralded wonder drug, Markel tells the inspiring story of how each man ultimately changed the world in spite of it—or because of it.
When Germs Travel: Contagious Crises Across History
Our struggle against deadly microbes is endless. Diseases that have plagued human beings since ancient times still exist, and nearly every year new infectious killers sprout up to threaten our well-being. From AIDS and tuberculosis to influenza and SARS, Dr. Markel provides an eye-opening look at the fragility of our public health system and the very human stories of those most affected by contagious crises.
Illness Narratives: Inspiring Patients Who Changed My Life and Will Change Yours
Drawing on more than thirty years of medical practice—and on many of the essays on patient care he has written for The New York Times—Dr. Markel discusses the patients who have taught him most about humanity, humility, and the compassionate aspects of doctoring. He recounts stories that inspire hope as we all struggle with our personal health issues and, more broadly, the rapidly changing U.S. health care system.
The First Draft of History: Medical Journalism in the Twenty-first Century
Every day, newspapers, television and radio broadcasts, and the Internet herald the latest advances in medicine. But how are these stories selected, and what is their impact on the American public? Using his decades-long experience as a medical journalist who has broken stories for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and NPR, Dr. Markel explains the good and bad results of “hot” medical news.

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