Perri Klass

Perri Klass

Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director

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, Harpers, The Atlantic, Smithsonian, 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 most recent books are A Good Time to Be Born: How Science and Public Health Gave Children a Future (2020), and the revised edition of Quirky Kids: Understanding and Supporting Your Child With Developmental Differences (coauthored with Eileen Costello, MD, 2003; revised 2021).  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), Baby Doctor: A Pediatrician’s Training (1992), and Treatment Kind and Fair: Letters To a Young Doctor (2007). 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.

Klass is the author of four novels, The Mercy Rule (2008), 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 Every Mother Is A Daughter (coauthored with Sheila Solomon Klass, 2006).

 

Published Works

The Hudson Review
July 15th, 2022
The Sixties Heroine: “A mature and adult female of her species at last”
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New England Journal of Medicine
June 16th, 2022
“It’s Hardly Credible” — Medical Readers and Literary Plague
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
Smithsonian Magazine
June 1st, 2022
The Real Story of Pinocchio Tells No Lies
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
May 29th, 2022
We Will All Mourn, and We Will All Be Mourned
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
April 13th, 2022
Returning to Florence With ‘the World’s Most Opinionated Guide’
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The American Scholar
August 14th, 2021
Of Plagues and Prejudice
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The Hudson Review
August 1st, 2021
“A tomb for thee, my babe!” Bad Poems for the Death of Children
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
Harper’s Magazine
June 1st, 2021
When Children Die
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The Washington Post
May 7th, 2021
I’m missing my mother on the holiday she hated
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New England Journal of Medicine
March 27th, 2021
“To Mitigate the Afflictions of the Human Race” — The Legacy of Dr. Rebecca Crumpler
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New England Journal of Medicine
September 3rd, 2020
The Tragedy of Measles
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
June 15th, 2020
The Impact of Disparities on Children’s Health
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
Los Angeles Review of Books
December 1st, 2018
Anne of the Armistice: Girls’ Book Heroines Confront the Great War
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
November 12th, 2018
The War to End All Measles
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
April 30th, 2018
On Being an Orphan, Frequently
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
April 12th, 2018
In Praise of Margery Sharp
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
May 29th, 2017
Proud of My Graduate, but Missing My Mother
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
April 10th, 2017
Rude Doctors, Rude Nurses, Rude Patients
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
April 3rd, 2017
Good News for Older Mothers
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
March 13th, 2017
Traveling With Adult Children
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
January 16th, 2017
The Banned Books Your Child Should Read
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
November 28th, 2016
On the Road
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
October 24th, 2016
What Knitting Can Teach Us About Parenting
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
NPR
August 13th, 2016
Why I’m Fascinated By Parasitic Worms
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
August 8th, 2016
The Merits of Reading Real Books to Your Children
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
June 13th, 2016
Should Pediatricians Refuse to Treat Patients Who Don’t Vaccinate?
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New England Journal of Medicine
June 9th, 2016
Saving Tiny Tim — Pediatrics and Childhood Poverty in the United States
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
May 24th, 2016
Parents Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About Training Babies to Sleep
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
May 16th, 2016
Clumsiness as a Diagnosis
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
April 11th, 2016
Fear of Crying: The Problem of Babies and Airplanes
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
March 28th, 2016
The Benefits of Spicing Up a Breast-Feeding Mother’s Diet
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
March 14th, 2016
Some Babies Are Just Easier Than Others
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
March 7th, 2016
The Always Hungry Teenage Boy
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
January 18th, 2016
Using Phones to Connect Children to Health Care
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New Yorker
December 14th, 2015
War of the Worms
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The Wall Street Journal
October 21st, 2015
Touring Belgium: Easily Europe’s Most Underrated Destination
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
August 17th, 2015
Bedtime Stories for Young Brains
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The Washington Post
August 14th, 2015
How Szechuan peppercorns can help you grow old and bond with your young
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New England Journal of Medicine
January 29th, 2015
Death Takes a Weekend
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
CNN
November 9th, 2014
When the flu wiped out millions
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The Wall Street Journal
August 8th, 2014
Shakespeare as a Life Coach
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
March 10th, 2014
Parents, Wired to Distraction
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
February 24th, 2014
How a College Roommate Can Affect Your Child
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
February 9th, 2014
Feasts for the Eyes, and the Palate, in Xian, China
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
Harvard Medical School News
December 20th, 2013
Fever Dreams
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New England Journal of Medicine
December 12th, 2013
Getting Through the Night
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
September 16th, 2013
To Help a Shy Child, Listen
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
May 13th, 2013
Poverty as a Childhood Disease
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
March 11th, 2013
A Firm Grasp on Comfort
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
December 10th, 2012
Understanding How Children Develop Empathy
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
September 10th, 2012
Early Music Lessons Have Longtime Benefits
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New England Journal of Medicine
July 12th, 2012
Zen and the Art of Pediatric Health Maintenance
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
June 11th, 2012
The Makings of Our Earliest Memories
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
May 7th, 2012
Parents’ Depression Linked to Problems in Children
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
April 9th, 2012
Can Fido and Whiskers Enrich Children’s Lives?
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
March 12th, 2012
Things Adult Medicine Could Learn From Pediatrics
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
December 12th, 2011
The Joy of Feeding
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
October 11th, 2011
Hearing Bilingual: How Babies Sort Out Language
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
September 13th, 2011
A Child’s Nap Is More Complicated Than It Looks
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
May 10th, 2011
Fixated by Screens, but Seemingly Nothing Else
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
March 8th, 2011
On the Left Hand, There Are No Easy Answers
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
January 10th, 2011
Lifting a Veil of Fear to See a Few Benefits of Fever
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
December 13th, 2010
Untangling the Myths About Attention Disorder
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The Washington Post
October 29th, 2010
Review of “Origins”
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
October 11th, 2010
Understanding ‘Ba Ba Ba’ as a Key to Development
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
February 8th, 2010
When to Worry if a Child Has Too Few Words
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The Washington Post
January 26th, 2010
Pain and dying are explored by doctors in new books
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New York Times
November 17th, 2008
If a Baby Has a Fever, Treatment All Depends
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New England Journal of Medicine
September 4th, 2008
Close Calls
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The Mercy Rule
July 7th, 2008
The Mercy Rule
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
The New England Journal of Medicine
May 29th, 2008
The Moral of the Story
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
Treatment Kind and Fair
June 12th, 2007
Treatment Kind and Fair
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director
Every Mother Is A Daughter
September 1st, 2006
Every Mother Is a Daughter
Perri Klass
Professor | NYU Florence, Co-Director