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About us

Who are we?

The challenges of providing care to patients are numerous. They range from broad, national policies to the nuance of personal, one-on-one interactions between patients and clinicians. If you’ve taken care of a patient, you’ve felt these forces. They inspire the messy, complex questions and ideas that come up during private conversation, after-shift drinks, or passing encounters with coworkers and colleagues. Triage aims to build on this discourse with the belief that an earnest question is more important than a concrete answer. Triage is built on the principles of community, critical thinking, and creative practice. At its heart, Triage is a health humanities blog. We encourage shifting and alternative points of view, while respecting differing opinions. We don’t retreat from uncertainty, we lean into it. Please, join us as a reader, participant, and contributor.





Michael Barthman, MD, Editor-in-Chief

Mike is a resident physician in the department of emergency medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University at Rhode Island Hospital. He completed a Doctorate of Medicine at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health after earning a Bachelor of Arts in English at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he focused on poetry. He was a founding board member for the Community Health Initiative Haiti, a non-profit focusing on community partnerships in rural Haiti. Previously, he enjoyed drumming for the indie-rock band Gazillion and teaching creative writing as part of an ESL program. With Jay Baruch, he co-created the free online Brown EdX Course, “Beyond Medical Histories: Gaining Insight From Patient Stories,” a course focusing on creativity and story skills as essential clinical skills. He is also a poet, with work appearing in Paper Darts and Vita Brevis. He resides with his wife, Kathryn, and their two cats, Bijou and Miki, in Providence, Rhode Island.

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Jay Baruch, MD, Senior Advisory Editor 


Jay is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University, where he serves as the director of the Medical Humanities and Bioethics Scholarly Concentration. His academic interest is the importance of creative thinking, creative writing skills and the arts in clinical medicine. Present projects include the Rhode Island Arts and Health Network; a free online Brown EdX course, “Beyond Medical Histories: Gaining Insight From Patient Stories,” which focuses on creativity and story skills as essential clinical skills, especially when facing uncertainty; and working with Rhode Island School of Design Museum educators to create museum-based curriculum to get clinicians to think about how they think. He’s served as a Director-at-Large, American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and as the former medical humanities section chair for the American College of Emergency Physicians, where he co-led the development and implementation of an online medical humanities platform for the specialty. He’s the author of two award-winning short fiction collections, “What's Left Out” and “Fourteen Stories: Doctors, Patients, and Other Strangers.”


Samuel Goldman, MD, Editor

Sam is a resident physician in the department of emergency medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University at Rhode Island Hospital. Sam completed his undergraduate degree at Brown University with a concentration in Biology. Prior to medical school, Sam earned a Masters in Public Health at Boston University, during which he served with AmeriCorps, founding and leading a rowing program for students in Boston's Public Schools. Sam currently resides in Pawtucket, RI with his wife, Katie, two daughters, Hattie and Daisy, and their Rhodesian Ridgeback, Violet. He is an avid sauna enthusiast. 


Sofia Sacerdote, Editor

Sofia is a first year undergraduate at Brown University studying public health and literary arts. As part of the Program in Liberal Medical Education, she will matriculate at Alpert Medical School in 2022. Sofia studied narrative medicine with Dr. Kathryn Kirkland at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, and looks forward to incorporating literature, writing, and the humanities into her career as a physician. In her free time, Sofia adores hiking, canoeing, traveling, and spending time with her family in Hanover, New Hampshire.


Annelise Swords, Editor

Annelise is a fourth year undergraduate at Rhodes College studying Biology and Music. After attending the Medical Health and Humanities Institute in 2020, she became inspired to find ways in which studying the arts and humanities can contribute to one’s fostering of the qualities that make a skillful physician. Annelise is a patient experience intern at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, and hopes to attend medical school in 2022. In her free time, she enjoys running, yoga, traveling, and bird photography.

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