SSRP '14: Awakenings

Current SSRP users, click here for instructions on recording your journal responses and then click here to go to Moodle and add a journal entry.

The members of STLCOP's Class of 2021 will begin their formal preparation for health care careers by reading and responding to Dr. Oliver Sacks’s classic study Awakenings in the 2014 edition of the STLCOP Summer Readers Program. Awakenings describes the strikingly mixed and endlessly instructive results of Sacks’s efforts to use L-DOPA in the late 1960s to treat patients with longstanding cases of encephalitis lethargica (sleepy sickness). Like Sacks’s many other books, Awakenings blends medical science, history, philosophy, and art into a superbly capacious meditation on the human experience of health and illness in all of its simultaneously destructive and creative possibilities, opening up a myriad of questions for members of the College’s three broad disciplinary areas – pharmacy, the sciences, and the humanities – to explore. In the four decades since the first edition appeared, Awakenings has inspired numerous scientific and creative responses, including award-nominated films both fiction and documentary, and plays by internationally-renowned dramatists. To learn more about Awakenings, please visit the author’s Web site.

Oliver Sack's Awakenings

About the Author

Oliver Sacks

Dr. Oliver Sacks was born in London in 1933. He is best known for Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, and The Mind’s Eye. His works focus not only on medicine and medical treatments but more broadly on the trials and triumphs that his patients experience as a result of their medical challenges. He is a professor of neurology at the NYU School of Medicine and has received many awards, including the Lewis Thomas Prize. Dr. Sacks's writings often appear in the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books.