January 20, 2016
Cardiologist John Harper’s passion for medicine and the written word intersect in the annual Literature + Medicine Conference at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas

Cardiologist John Harper’s passion for medicine and the written word intersect in the annual Literature + Medicine Conference at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

As a boy growing up in Pecos, Texas, John Harper ’68 was first drawn to medicine by the compassion demonstrated by his family doctor, then through great writers such as Anton Chekhov, a practicing physician for most of his literary career. Harper majored in English at SMU and earned his medical degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1972. Now a cardiologist with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, Harper received SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2014 and was named the 2012 Dedman College Distinguished Graduate Award recipient.

Harper leads the Literature + Medicine Conference, now in its sixth year. In a Dallas Morning News story about the event and his literary approach to medical education, he offered the following list of favorite titles that includes a bestseller by Carl Sewell ’66, fellow Mustang and SMU Trustee:

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  • The Memory of Old Jack by Wendell Berry
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
  • The Great Influenza by John M. Barry
  • Customers for Life by Carl Sewell and Paul B. Brown
  • The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker

Read the full story:
“A doctor’s mission: Showing why literature matters to medicine,” The Dallas Morning News