Colleen M Farrell grew up in Saratoga Springs, NY with her five older siblings. Influenced by her mom, a piano teacher, and dad, a family doctor, she has loved both art and science from childhood. She graduated from Williams College with highest honors for her thesis research on the cultural history of the AIDS epidemic in the United States. Afterwards, she worked at The Hastings Center, one of the nation’s premier bioethics research institutes, on projects related to end of life care, assisted reproduction, and healthcare for undocumented immigrants.
Colleen attended medical school at Harvard, where she served as guest editor for theme issues of the AMA Journal of Ethics on Motherhood and Medicine and Interprofessionalism. She devoted an extra year of medical school to narrative medicine writing, mentored by Dr. Suzanne Koven, Writer-in-Residence of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Her classmates selected her to deliver their commencement address, in which she spoke candidly of her own struggle with depression as a medical student.
Colleen is currently a resident physician in internal medicine at NYU Langone and Bellevue Hospital in New York City, and plans to pursue further training in pulmonary and critical care medicine. She continues to pursue academic scholarship in bioethics and medical humanities, while also cultivating her love of storytelling. She is the creator and host of Medical Humanities Chat (MedHumChat), a popular Twitter-based discussion of poetry and prose aimed to foster reflection, empathy and connection in healthcare. She is an alumna of the Fellowship at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics and the Rudin Medical Ethics & Humanities Fellowship. Her writing has appeared in JAMA Internal Medicine, The Hastings Center Report, STAT, KevinMD, Bioethics Forum and Atrium, and she has performed live with the Nocturnists. She tweets @colleenmfarrell.