The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner

Poetry and Psychiatry: An Interview with Richard Berlin, MD

November 26, 2023 Andrew Wilner, MD Season 1 Episode 99
The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner
Poetry and Psychiatry: An Interview with Richard Berlin, MD
Show Notes


We spend a lot of time on this podcast discussing the business of medicine, which is terribly important. In the most recent episode (#98), for example, I discussed NALTO, 

the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations with Tanika Williams and Olivia D'Angelo.


However, just as important is the art of medicine. That's why I'm delighted that Dr. Richard Berlin has joined the show today. Dr. Berlin is a published poet who just retired from clinical medicine.


Dr. Berlin has been passionate about poetry since childhood and is still in touch with his 10th-grade teacher who taught poetry. Several singer-songwriters of the '60s, like Bob Dylan, were also inspirations. But it wasn't until mid-life that he became a serious writer. Although there was never enough time to write when he worked full-time, he tried to "read a lot and write a lot." Dr. Berlin sees many parallels between writing poetry and the practice of medicine.


During our 35-minute interview, we discussed an author we both admire, Richard Selzer, MD. Dr. Selzer was one of the first contemporary physician-authors in the US. As a successful physician/writer, he became a role model for me and Dr. Berlin.


Dr. Berlin started our program by reading a poem he wrote while staying in a cabin on Monhegan Island in Maine. To learn how a lobsterman's trained eye resembles a physician's, please listen to our program!


"How JFK Killed My Father" is Dr. Berlin's first book of poetry, available on Amazon: He has several other books and more books on the way.


Dr. Berlin has also published poetry at Psychiatric Times for the last 25 years:

Dr. Berlin can be reached at his website: HTTP://

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