Children and the Experience of Illness


For well over a decade, Duke pediatrician and photographer John Moses has taught “Children and the Experience of Illness" at Duke's Center for Documentary Studies. Duke undergraduates work closely with a child to teach them how to use a camera as a means of exploring illness—which either the child themselves or another family member is experiencing.

Students also conduct their own documentary work. By simultaneously examining the photographs of children and their student mentors, important understandings of the experience of illness can be realized. Dr. Moses is currently collaborating with CDS to produce a book about the work generated from this class.  

John Moses, MD, is a primary care pediatrician and documentary photographer based at Duke University. He is interested in using documentary photography to explore the intersection of social and medical issues. His photographs of adolescent parents in North Carolina were included in Robert Coles’s book The Youngest Parents, published by W. W. Norton and the Center for Documentary Studies in 1997. He also contributed photographs to Big Doctoring in America: Profiles in Primary Care (UC Press) which presents oral histories of fifteen pioneering primary care clinicians. In addition to maintaining a busy clinical practice, Dr. Moses teaches photography at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. His courses include Medicine and the Vision of Documentary Photography and Children and the Experience of Illness wherein children with chronic illness are paired up with student mentors and taught how to use a camera as a means of expression. 

VIDEO: “Enhancing My Medical Education Through Photography,” A Talk By Pediatrician/Photographer John Moses"

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Child Policy Research

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