The practice of medicine and the practice of writing poetry are often considered to require competing skills. The New Zealand doctor-poet Glenn Colquhoun looks at the similarities between the two activities and argues that narrative and metaphor play important roles in the creative moment at the core of both disciplines. He argues that, along with objectivity, subjectivity is a valuable way of “knowing” in medicine. He illustrates his points with a selection of poems drawn from his practice and an essay exploring the importance of the subjective in decoding the consultation between doctor and patient.

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