Literary Journals with a Medical Focus

The following is a list of literary journals with a medical theme. Many of these are affiliated with an individual school; please check guidelines to ensure that they accept submissions from outside their community before sending work.

All links are current as of April 2018. If you find a non-working link or newly defunct publication at anytime in the future, or if you know a journal or magazine that should be added to this list, please let me know. I appreciate your help in making this list as comprehensive as possible. Thank you!

— Nicole Melanson



Abaton is Des Moines University’s student-produced literary journal. Abaton explores aspects of health care that often elude academic disciplines. It is these often unspoken sentiments of the provider and patient that form a bridge to an evidence-based profession.


American Journal of Nursing

The journal welcomes submissions for its various departments and columns, including photography, artwork and poetry that is relevant to nursing or health care.


Ars Medica

Ars Medica is a biannual literary journal, started in 2004, that explores the interface between the arts and healing, and examines what makes medicine an art.



Atlas is a literary journal encouraging lateral thought and creativity in medicine. It hopes to shift our medical conversations away from the rigid and prescriptive, to a literary form that celebrates our complexities. Atlas encourages doctors, writers and patients to share in their experiences of medicine and the human body outside of the clinic. It also offers a space for critical discussion about the health care system and its users.



Atrium is published by the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities. Each issue focuses on a different theme related to these disciplines, but each contributor explores the theme in different, thought-provoking ways. The publication of Atrium is currently on a temporary hiatus.


The Awakenings Review

Begun in cooperation with the University of Chicago Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation in 2000, The Awakenings Review is published by the Awakenings Project.


Bellevue Literary Review

The Bellevue Literary Review, founded in 2000, was created as a forum for creatively exploring a broad array of issues in medicine and society, using fiction, nonfiction, and poetry to better understand the nuanced tensions that define our lives both in illness and in health.


Blood and Thunder

Blood and Thunder is a medically themed arts journal published by the students of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.


Daedalus: Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Daedalus explores the frontiers of knowledge and issues of public importance. They publish by invitation only.



Dermanities (an online journal) encourages you to submit ideas, essays, poems, & humor, photos, as well as evidence-based papers relating to the humanities and the interaction with medical practice in general and dermatology in particular.


The Examined Life Journal

We’re seeking works related to health and the human condition in all its myriad definitions.


Harmony Magazine

Harmony, a literary journal of essays, short stories, poetry, visual art, and photography is a publication of Arizona’s College of Medicine Program in Medical Humanities. Students, faculty, and staff of the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Mel and Enid Zuckerman Public Health are encouraged to submit original, unpublished work to our journal, however, anyone may submit work.


Hektoen International

Hektoen International accepts work that explores medicine and the healing arts through the lens of the humanities, exploring such disciplines as art, education, ethics, history, literature, philosophy, and sociology.


Hospital Drive

Hospital Drive is the on-line literary and humanities journal of the University of Virginia School of Medicine.  The journal publishes original literature and art on themes of health, illness, and healing.


The Human Touch

The Human Touch is an anthology of poetry, prose, photography, and visual arts from the Anschutz Medical Campus community at the University of Colorado. We welcome submissions from everyone in our community.



Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine is a literary journal dedicated to promoting the theory and practice of Narrative Medicine, an interdisciplinary field that enhances healthcare through the  effective communication and understanding between caregivers and patients.



IRIS ​is UNC School of Medicine’s Arts and Literary Journal. We express ourselves through prose, poetry, painting, music, photography, and other mediums as we learn and provide healing. Submisssions invited from students, faculty, and staff.



Narrateur: Reflections on Caring is an art & literary journal that embodies the Zucker School of Medicine’s commitment to self-expression, compassion and respect for the patient-physician relationship. Narrateur seeks unpublished, high-quality work from students, faculty, and staff that reflects the experiences in the practice of medicine and the learning that takes place along the road to taking care of patients. Themes should include health, illness, caring and expressions of the human condition.


The Pegasus Review

The Pegasus Review, the voice of the Pegasus Physician Writers at Stanford, publishes poetry, nonfiction, literary, and artistic works related to medicine and the experience of illness and healing. We accept submissions from our members as well our Stanford and global community.


The Pharos

Alpha Omega Alpha’s quarterly journal publishes scholarly essays covering a wide array of nontechnical medical subjects, including medical history, ethics, and medical-related literature, as well as poetry and personal essays.



Every Friday, Pulse — voices from the heart of medicine publishes and distributes a first-person story or poem, together with a visual image or haiku, about health care. Pulse tells the story of health care through the personal experiences of those who live it patients, health professionals, students and caregivers.


Switchgrass Review

The Switchgrass Review is a national literary journal of women’s health, history, and transformation.


4 thoughts on “Literary Journals with a Medical Focus

  1. Hey Nicole, thanks for this useful list. I just discovered the Pegasus Review at Stanford, you might want to add? ( It’s not open for submissions right now, so I’m not sure what the schedule is. Some of these mags publish so infrequently, it’s tricky to time the submissions so you’re not waiting a year or more to hear back! Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

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