Jack El-Hai is an award-winning medical writer who coaches and leads workshops for physicians interested in reaping the benefits of writing creatively. We discuss the benefits during the interview, as well as how to get started on ten minutes per day or less, how to get those creative juices flowing and how that annoying clicking sound my partner makes when he drinks his tea can be used as inspiration. He also defines “creative writing,” and it is a lot more encompassing than I thought.
El-Hai has led writing workshops through the Center for Humanities in Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, continuing education programs at the University of Minnesota, and the Loft Literary Center, as well as coaching physicians one-on-one in creative writing. He is the author of award-winning books on the history of medicine and a contributor of more than 600 articles and essays to The Atlantic, Smithsonian, Wired, GQ, The Washington Post Magazine, and many other publications. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Bennington College and taught in the MFA creative writing program at Augsburg University. He can be found at El-Hai.com.