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Welcome to Darnall Medical Library: Medical Humanism Collection

Providing quality information and services to support the readiness and care of the Uniformed Services and their families.

The Checklist Manifesto


The Empathy Exams

Every Note Played

If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?

Humble Inquiry

Hidden Figures


Introducing Feminism: A Graphic Guide

Introducing Ethics: A Graphic Guide

Lab Girl

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Last Lecture

The Gene

Medical Apartheid

On Call

Call the Midwife (V2): Shadows of the Workhouse

Call the Midwife (v3): Farewell to the East End

Extreme Measures

What the Eyes Don't See

What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear



Kitchen Table Wisdom

The Woman with a Worm in Her Head

The Compassionate Connection

Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story

Turtles All the Way Down

Brain on Fire


Five Days at Memorial

The Language of Kindness

The Comfort Garden

Blue Collar, Blue Scrubs

When Breath Becomes Air

In Shock

In Stitches

When the Air Hits Your Brain

Slow Medicine

You Can Stop Humming Now

This Side of Doctoring

The Intern Blues


Body of Work

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Living and Dying in Brick City

Tears of Salt

The Person You Mean to Be

Podcast of the Month

The Nocturnists Podcast Logo

The Nocturnists podcast highlights transformative stories and provocative discussions about the world of medicine. In response to the extraordinary events of 2020, they produced two new special audio diary series: “Stories from a Pandemic” and “Black Voices in Healthcare.” 

Why a Medical Humanism Collection?

The purpose of the Medical Humanism Collection at the Darnall Medical Library at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is to foster empathy, improve bedside manner, decrease burnout, and raise awareness of healthcare bias. The collection is comprised of popular fiction and nonfiction books, with the majority focused on healthcare topics. 

Marchalik D, Rodriguez A, Namath A, Krasnow R, Obara S, Padmore J, Groninger H. The impact of non-medical reading on clinician burnout: a national survey of palliative care providers. Ann Palliat Med. 2019 Sep;8(4):428-435. doi: 10.21037/apm.2019.05.02. Epub 2019 Jul 8.

Blanke ES, Riediger M. Reading thoughts and feelings in other people: Empathic accuracy across adulthood. Prog Brain Res. 2019;247:305-327. doi: 10.1016/bs.pbr.2019.02.002. Epub 2019 Mar 7.

Hewitt C, Beech M, Watson O, Kulendrarajah B. Teaching empathy with literature. Med Teach. 2019 Jul;41(7):845. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2018.1529410. Epub 2018 Nov 14.

Kim J. Emotional Labor in the Care Field and Empathy-enhancing Education by Reading Literature: A Brief Review. Iran J Public Health. 2018 Aug;47(8):1084-1089.

Collins KL, Zweber A, Irwin AN. Impact of a fictional reading intervention on empathy development in student pharmacists. Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2017 May;9(3):498-503. doi: 10.1016/j.cptl.2016.12.003. Epub 2017 Apr 26.

Tansey S. Exploring Empathy Through the Patient Experience in Literature. J Nurs Educ. 2016 Jul 1;55(7):420. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20160615-13.

Watson EM. The importance of leisure reading to health sciences students: results of a survey. Health Info Libr J. 2016 Mar;33(1):33-48. doi: 10.1111/hir.12129. Epub 2015 Dec 14.

Omigie D. Music and literature: are there shared empathy and predictive mechanisms underlying their affective impact?Front Psychol. 2015 Aug 24;6:1250. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01250. eCollection 2015.

Charon R, Hermann N, Devlin MJ. Close Reading and Creative Writing in Clinical Education: Teaching Attention, Representation, and Affiliation. Acad Med. 2016 Mar;91(3):345-50. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000827.

Davidson JH. Clinical empathy and narrative competence: the relevance of reading talmudic legends as literary fiction. Rambam Maimonides Med J. 2015 Apr 29;6(2):e0014. doi: 10.5041/RMMJ.10198. eCollection 2015 Apr.

Timm DF, Woodson D, Jones D. Book discussion course: timely topics for medical students. Med Ref Serv Q. 2014;33(2):147-56. doi: 10.1080/02763869.2014.897513.

Bal PM, Veltkamp M. How does fiction reading influence empathy? An experimental investigation on the role of emotional transportation. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e55341. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055341. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

Plake KS. Book club elective to facilitate student learning of the patient experience with chronic disease. Am J Pharm Educ. 2010 Apr 12;74(3):37.

Mathiasen H. Empathy and sympathy: voices from literature. Am J Cardiol. 2006 Jun 15;97(12):1789-90. Epub 2006 Apr 27.

Shapiro J, Morrison E, Boker J. Teaching empathy to first year medical students: evaluation of an elective literature and medicine course. Educ Health (Abingdon). 2004 Mar;17(1):73-84.

Butell SS, O'Donovan P, Taylor JD. Instilling the value of reading literature through student-led book discussion groups. J Nurs Educ. 2004 Jan;43(1):40-4.

Hauser J, Lantos J. Stories of caring and connection: four books on death and dying. Hastings Cent Rep. 2000 Mar-Apr;30(2):44-7.

Charon R. Reading, writing, and doctoring: literature and medicine. Am J Med Sci. 2000 May;319(5):285-91.

Herman J. Reading for empathy. Med Hypotheses. 2000 Feb;54(2):167-8.

FINKELSTEIN SZ. Literature and empathy: an example. Psychiatr Q Suppl. 1957;31(2):239-45.

Book Club

For more information on the upcoming Medical Humanism Book Club, please e-mail Emily Shohfi.

Contact the Darnall Medical Library (DML)

For WRNNMC Patients

  • TRICARE Appointment Line: 855-227-6331
  • Walter Reed NMMC Main Phone: 301-295-4611
  • TRICARE Health Services (Includes phone numbers)

Researching a medical condition?
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For WRNNMC Healthcare Providers

Our Partners

Looking for Audio?

Access to general library electronic content is provided through Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Libraries based on your service. Most are CAC authenticated, though you should be able to contact an MWR Librarian for access if you meet the requirements and do not have a CAC.

Air Force:

Darnall Medical Library | Walter Reed NMMC | Building 1, Room 3458 | 8955 Wood Road | Bethesda, MD 20889 | 301-295-1184/85 | Open Monday-Friday, 0700-1730

After-hours access to the library is available to WRNMMC Staff via the CDO at 301-295-4611.