Perri Klass

Professor

Perri Klass, M.D. has been writing as a medical journalist dating back to her years as a student at Harvard Medical School in the 1980s, when she published a series of essays, reflections on medical training, in the Hers column of The New York Times. Since that time she has published her medical journalism in many newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times Science Section, The New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, The New England Journal of Medicine, Esquire, Parenting, and Vogue. She has written regular columns about medicine for Discover Magazine, American Health, Massachusetts Medicine, and Diversion. Her essays about medicine and medical training have been collected in the books A Not Entirely Benign Procedure: Four Years as a Medical Student (1987), and Baby Doctor: A Pediatrician’s Training (1992). At NYU, Dr. Klass is a professor both in Journalism and in Pediatrics.

Klass is particularly interested in issues of medicine and ethics, issues of infectious disease and issues of pediatrics and literacy. She also writes regularly about travel, food, parenting, and knitting. She is the recipient of a James Beard Journalism Award for magazine writing on diet, nutrition, and health, a Virtual Mentor Award from the American Medical Association, awarded for her writing, and an Honors Award from the New England Chapter of the American Medical Writers Association, along with five O. Henry Awards for her short fiction. She has frequently lectured on medicine and writing, including commencement addresses at many medical schools. Her role as a medical journalist was featured in the National Library of Medicine exhibit on Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians at the National Institutes of Health. She received her A.B. from Harvard in 1979, her M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1986, completed her residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital, Boston, in 1989, her fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at Boston City Hospital in 1992, and practiced pediatrics at an urban health care clinic in Boston for 12 years. As the Medical Director of Reach Out and Read, a national literacy program, she has trained physicians around the country on how to integrate books and advice about reading aloud into pediatrics. She has taught science writing at Harvard University, and has served as Chair of the Executive Board of PEN New England.

Klass is the author of three novels, The Mystery of Breathing (2004), Other Women’s Children (1990), and Recombinations (1985), and two collections of short stories, Love and Modern Medicine (2001), and I Am Having an Adventure (1986). Her other books include Quirky Kids: Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn’t Fit In (coauthored with Eileen Costello, MD, 2003) and Every Mother Is A Daughter (coauthored with Sheila Solomon Klass, 2006).

Watch Klass’ video on Literary Reportage.


Published Works

On Being an Orphan, Frequently April 30th, 2018 Perri Klass Professor In Praise of Margery Sharp April 12th, 2018 Perri Klass Professor Proud of My Graduate, but Missing My Mother May 29th, 2017 Perri Klass Professor Rude Doctors, Rude Nurses, Rude Patients April 10th, 2017 Perri Klass Professor Good News for Older Mothers April 3rd, 2017 Perri Klass Professor Traveling With Adult Children March 13th, 2017 Perri Klass Professor The Banned Books Your Child Should Read January 16th, 2017 Perri Klass Professor On the Road November 28th, 2016 Perri Klass Professor What Knitting Can Teach Us About Parenting October 24th, 2016 Perri Klass Professor Why I’m Fascinated By Parasitic Worms August 13th, 2016 Perri Klass Professor The Merits of Reading Real Books to Your Children August 8th, 2016 Perri Klass Professor Should Pediatricians Refuse to Treat Patients Who Don’t Vaccinate? June 13th, 2016 Perri Klass Professor Saving Tiny Tim — Pediatrics and Childhood Poverty in the United States June 9th, 2016 Perri Klass Professor Parents Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About Training Babies to Sleep May 24th, 2016 Perri Klass Professor Clumsiness as a Diagnosis May 16th, 2016 Perri Klass Professor Fear of Crying: The Problem of Babies and Airplanes April 11th, 2016 Perri Klass Professor The Benefits of Spicing Up a Breast-Feeding Mother’s Diet March 28th, 2016 Perri Klass Professor Some Babies Are Just Easier Than Others March 14th, 2016 Perri Klass Professor The Always Hungry Teenage Boy March 7th, 2016 Perri Klass Professor Using Phones to Connect Children to Health Care January 18th, 2016 Perri Klass Professor War of the Worms December 14th, 2015 Perri Klass Professor Touring Belgium: Easily Europe’s Most Underrated Destination October 21st, 2015 Perri Klass Professor Bedtime Stories for Young Brains August 17th, 2015 Perri Klass Professor How Szechuan peppercorns can help you grow old and bond with your young August 14th, 2015 Perri Klass Professor Death Takes a Weekend January 29th, 2015 Perri Klass Professor When the flu wiped out millions November 9th, 2014 Perri Klass Professor Shakespeare as a Life Coach August 8th, 2014 Perri Klass Professor Parents, Wired to Distraction March 10th, 2014 Perri Klass Professor How a College Roommate Can Affect Your Child February 24th, 2014 Perri Klass Professor Feasts for the Eyes, and the Palate, in Xian, China February 9th, 2014 Perri Klass Professor Fever Dreams December 20th, 2013 Perri Klass Professor Getting Through the Night December 12th, 2013 Perri Klass Professor To Help a Shy Child, Listen September 16th, 2013 Perri Klass Professor Poverty as a Childhood Disease May 13th, 2013 Perri Klass Professor A Firm Grasp on Comfort March 11th, 2013 Perri Klass Professor Understanding How Children Develop Empathy December 10th, 2012 Perri Klass Professor Early Music Lessons Have Longtime Benefits September 10th, 2012 Perri Klass Professor Zen and the Art of Pediatric Health Maintenance July 12th, 2012 Perri Klass Professor The Makings of Our Earliest Memories June 11th, 2012 Perri Klass Professor Parents’ Depression Linked to Problems in Children May 7th, 2012 Perri Klass Professor Can Fido and Whiskers Enrich Children’s Lives? April 9th, 2012 Perri Klass Professor Things Adult Medicine Could Learn From Pediatrics March 12th, 2012 Perri Klass Professor The Joy of Feeding December 12th, 2011 Perri Klass Professor Hearing Bilingual: How Babies Sort Out Language October 11th, 2011 Perri Klass Professor A Child’s Nap Is More Complicated Than It Looks September 13th, 2011 Perri Klass Professor Fixated by Screens, but Seemingly Nothing Else May 10th, 2011 Perri Klass Professor On the Left Hand, There Are No Easy Answers March 8th, 2011 Perri Klass Professor Lifting a Veil of Fear to See a Few Benefits of Fever January 10th, 2011 Perri Klass Professor Untangling the Myths About Attention Disorder December 13th, 2010 Perri Klass Professor Review of “Origins” October 29th, 2010 Perri Klass Professor Understanding ‘Ba Ba Ba’ as a Key to Development October 11th, 2010 Perri Klass Professor When to Worry if a Child Has Too Few Words February 8th, 2010 Perri Klass Professor Pain and dying are explored by doctors in new books January 26th, 2010 Perri Klass Professor If a Baby Has a Fever, Treatment All Depends November 17th, 2008 Perri Klass Professor Close Calls September 4th, 2008 Perri Klass Professor The Mercy Rule July 7th, 2008 Perri Klass Professor The Moral of the Story May 29th, 2008 Perri Klass Professor Treatment Kind and Fair June 12th, 2007 Perri Klass Professor Every Mother Is a Daughter September 1st, 2006 Perri Klass Professor