Meet the Interim Director: Daniel Marchalik, MD, MA

Daniel Marchalik
Headshot of Daniel Marchalik

Daniel Marchalik, MD, MA is a physician, urologist and medical humanities scholar. He is the Executive Director of the MedStar Health Center for Wellbeing, Director of the Kidney Stone Program at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Creator and Director of the Literature and Medicine Track at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, as well as the Interim Director of the Georgetown University Medical Humanities Initiative. 

Not only has he done significant research on kidney stones, but he is also an expert on physician wellbeing. In different studies, he and his research team have identified the positive impact that literature has on physician wellbeing, showing how reading fiction decreases risk of burnout.

Dr. Marchalik’s interest in literature began early in his career. As an English major at Rutgers University, he did a senior thesis on illness narratives, which first allowed him to explore the intersection of literature and medicine. During his surgical training in urology at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, he further explored that intersection, completing an MA in English at Georgetown University. This work led him to create the Literature and Medicine Track at the Georgetown University School of Medicine–work that was foundational for the launch of the Medical Humanities Initiative.

Dr. Marchalik is the author of a monthly column in the Lancet, where he explores the intersection of literature, medicine, and wellbeing. He also conducts significant studies in physician burnout, published across a variety of leading medical journals.

Featured scholarship

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep book cover

“Physicians in the Digital Age”

January 15th, 2022

Dr. Daniel Marchalik and Dr. Edward Melnick look at what Philip K. Dick’s dystopian novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? can teach us about AI & medicine.…

Illustration o the iconic Great Gatsby's eyes wearing gold frame glasses

“The Great Gatsby and the Challenge of Unreliable Narrators”

July 17th, 2021

Dr. Daniel Marchalik and Dr. Matthew W. McCarthy tackle the enduring literary debate on the reliability of Nick Carraway, the narrator of F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, to answer the question of how do clinicians balance the importance of believing what patients say with the need to be discerning critics?…

Blindness book cover

“Seeing COVID-19 through José Saramago’s Blindness”

June 20th, 2020

Daniel Marchalik and Dmitriy Petrov propose an approach to the novel Blindness, which would allow us to process the emotional devastation, socioeconomic impacts, and pressures on front-line health-care workers that continue to shape our world.…

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