Danielle Ofri, M.D., Ph.D.
Danielle Ofri MD, PhD is a primary care internist at Bellevue Hospital, the editor-in-chief of the Bellevue Literary Review, and one of the foremost voices in the medical world today. Praised as "a born story-teller and a born physician" by Oliver Sacks, she shines an unflinching light on the realities of healthcare and speaks passionately about the doctor-patient relationship. As a practicing internist and a critically acclaimed author, Danielle speaks with both the authority of a physician directly engaged in the front lines of medical care and with the vibrant panache of a creative. In talks that engage both medical and general audiences alike, she weaves together captivating stories and discussions of major issues in medicine healthcare to highlight the messy, beautiful, and altogether human elements of healthcare, on both the patient and provider sides.
In her books and articles, Danielle Ofri has developed a signature style that combines compelling narrative with thoughtful reflection and focused reporting. She uses stories to uncover the mysteries of human life and human nature, to explore the joys and problems of modern medical practice, and to ask questions about society's priorities. Her writing has been featured in the New York Times, The New Yorker, the Atlantic, the Lancet, Slate, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NPR, and the New England Journal of Medicine. Her essays have been selected for Best American Essays twice and for Best American Science Writing.
Dr. Ofri is the author of a collection of books about the world of medicine. Her latest, When We Do Harm: A Doctor Confronts Medical Error, addresses the cultural and cognitive shifts necessary to minimize preventable harm. What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear, tackles the critical issue of communication between clinicians and patients—how gaps in communication can be deadly and how refocusing the conversation can improve health outcomes. In her critically acclaimed book, What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine, Danielle upends stereotypes in the medical world and explores the hidden emotional world of the doctor and its impact on patient care.
In an extension of her interests in storytelling and medicine, Ofri serves as founder and editor-in-chief of Bellevue Literary Review, the first literary journal to arise from a medical setting. BLR is an award-winning, independent nonprofit literary journal and arts organization. It publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from the perspectives of patients, caregivers, family members, students, healthcare professionals, and the general public while offering a wide range of events at the intersection of art and science.
Dr. Ofri is the recipient of many awards including the 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2023 Davies Scholar Award from the American College of Physicians, the 2022 National Humanism in Medicine Medal from the Gold Foundation, and the 2020 Global Listening Legend Award. She has been awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters and received the McGovern Award from the American Medical Writers Association for “preeminent contributions to medical communication.” She is a clinical professor of medicine at New York University.
When We Do Harm: Medical Error and the Human Condition
A Culture of Safety: Patient safety is a critical issue in medicine today. There is, rightly, a strong emphasis on systems approaches to improving medical care and decreasing error. However, medicine is fundamentally a human endeavor. Without attention to the human aspects of the medical enterprise — emotions, cognitive abilities, biases, communication — crucial aspects of patient safety will remain beyond our grasp.
What Patients Say, What Doctors Here (And Vice Versa)
The Power of Words: Despite modern medicine’s infatuation with high-tech gadgetry, the single most powerful diagnostic tool in the medical armamentarium is the conversation with the patient. However, what patients say and what clinicians hear are often two vastly different things. When you add in stereotypes, unconscious bias, multitasking, and fear of lawsuits, the risk of misdiagnosis and medical errors multiplies. This presentation examines how refocusing the conversation between patients and clinicians can lead to better health outcomes.
Tools of the Trade: Old and New Technologies in Medicine
Technology in Medicine: Technology is transforming medicine at a breathless pace. From computerized treatment algorithms to artificial intelligence, every aspect of medicine has been refashioned by the digital revolution. This presentation digs into the technologies of medicine — some ancient, some disarmingly simple, some revolutionary, and some impressively overwrought — to examine the impact of this ongoing metamorphosis, and what it means for the medical professionals and patients who must navigate it.
Failure to Thrive: Is the Diagnosis Really Burnout?
The Changing Landscape of Medicine: Burnout among healthcare professionals appears to be at epidemic proportions. Many medical professionals say they would never choose the field if they had to do it all over again. The response to these cries that grow louder every day is often an ineffective prescription for wellness and resilience. But is burnout the right way to describe what’s going on? This presentation examines the buffeting forces upon the medical profession and the healthcare industry, and highlights what needs to change to ensure healthcare professionals survive—and possibly even thrive.
A Singular Intimacy: Connecting the Bridge Between Clinician and Patient
Bringing Back the Humanity to Medicine: Despite enormous advances in healthcare, patients and clinicians alike are dissatisfied with their experience. So much of medicine has been boiled down to rote algorithms and assembly-line care. Seeking inspiration from the gripping narratives of medicine to the unlikely poetry of the ICU, this presentation probes the most fundamental aspect of medical care — how clinicians and patients connect.
We had incredible reviews of her presentation as folks were leaving - The [attendees] loved her engagement with the audi
Your presentation was WONDERFUL! You truly are a great storyteller (I knew that to be true through your writing, but you
On behalf of the […] Medical Association, thank you for giving such a powerful keynote presentation at our Practice Mana
It was great. She’s a lovely person, very personable, and a great speaker! We so appreciate her coming. Thank you so muc
Dr. Ofri was such a delight to work with and she did a fantastic job at our Symposium. We had more than 225 people there
Excellent. Dr. Ofri as the last speaker was perfectly planned! Thought the first and last presentations were excellent -