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Kerrytown Book Fest

After submitting my application to residency today, I went to the Kerrytown Book Fest and made some acquisitions:


My acquisitions

(and by acquisitions, I mean a lot of this stuff was for free)

Ann Arbor is paradise for literature lovers, from books festivals like this one to the Ann Arbor Poetry Slam (every 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month) at Cafe Royale on State Street to readings at the local bookstore Literati and events at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.  I also learned about letter pressing today, which was really neat:

Book pressing kit

Letter pressing kit

During my four years here as a medical student, I’ve had the opportunity to not only keep up with my writing, but to expand my horizons.  I am applying to residency in psychiatry, and my interests are two-fold.  I want to use poetry to explore the relationship between memory and identity, which has captured my fascination ever since M2 year, when I first interacted with a patient with dementia.  In addition, I want to use language to change behavior.  On my substance use disorder elective this month, I’ve had the chance to practice motivational interviewing, a method of guiding patients towards naming their own reasons and setting their own goals for changing their behavior.

In residency, I hope to incorporate medical humanities into my daily interactions with patients, helping to articulate the ways in which art and literature could be used to improve patient care.  In the meantime, I can’t wait for what the rest of M4 year brings!


Ting Gou is a fourth-year M.D. candidate at the University of Michigan Medical School, interested in psychiatry. Her first collection of poems, The Other House, is forthcoming this November from Blue Lyra Press. As a student in the IMPACT pilot program, she is working on her second poetry collection, inspired by patients with memory loss. When she is not seeing patients, she is either writing/reading/editing poetry or attending one of the many literary events in Ann Arbor. Connect with her on Twitter @tinggou.