April 2020The Biographer's Craft

"Six Questions with Mahala Yates Striping," biographer of Richard Selzer, M.D.

October 2019The Biographer's Craft

“Yaddo Revisited: Its Joys and Perils.”

What’s it like to stay in the great English mansion that is an artists’ retreat for painters, musicians, and writers? Dr. Stripling recalls her experience, ten years earlier, and how in this nourishing environment she brought her research and writing together to advance her biography of Richard Selzer, a Yaddo resident ten times.

Winter 2018Hektoen International: A Journal of Medical Humanities

"Impostor Syndrome: Richard Selzer's Life of Doubt." Even a world-famous doctor-writer can feel doubt about his surgical work and writing. This is his confession.

Spring 2015Third Hektoen Publication

“Richard Selzer: The Birth of Literature and Medicine,” Dr. Stripling’s third publication with Hektoen, also excerpted from her biography in progress, describes Selzer’s involvement in establishing a new field that has developed nationally and across the world to include the humanities in medical practice.

Winter 2015Columbia University’s Voices in Bioethics Essay

“A Question of Mercy: Contrasting Current and Past Perspectives on Physician-Assisted Suicide” appeared shortly after Brittany Maynard’s Death with Dignity in Oregon brought the issue back into the national spotlight. By contrasting Selzer’s 1990 involvement in an attempted PAS with Maynard’s 2014 reality, the essay shows how far we have come but also how much more there is to do to resolve an issue that will affect many of us.

Author's Note: In 1990 Terri Shiavo, a 41-year-old Florida woman, became the lightning rod for the right-to-die movement. Her parents and Governor Jeb Bush believed they should err on the side of life, and she remained in a persistent vegetative state for over a decade. Her husband and legal guardian pursued the matter through the Circuit Court, and it ruled her feeding tube could be removed. The Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal from her parents, and she died in 2005. On the other hand, Richard Selzer, in “A Question of Mercy, ” also in 1990, showed that two moral constructs should be present in end-of-life decision making: autonomy and mercy. But these two parallel cases had very different outcomes.

May 15, 2014Helm Fellowship Award

Received support on Selzer biography for research in the Lish Manuscripts, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

May 5, 2014Hektoen Essay Contest Finalist

“Richard Selzer’s Last Grand Rounds at Yale (December 15, 1984)," describing his dramatic crossover from surgeon to writer, a pivotal event 30 years ago. It is excerpted from Chapter 10 of THE SURGEON WHO BECAME A BEST-SELLING AUTHOR: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. RICHARD SELZER. (Summer 2014)