Dr. Michele Harper
Dr. Michele Harper is an emergency room physician and the author of The Beauty in Breaking, a memoir of service, transformation, and self-healing. In her talks, Dr. Harper speaks on how the policies and systemic racism in healthcare have allowed the most vulnerable members of society to fall through the cracks, and the importance of making peace with the past while drawing support from the present. In each anecdote, she shines a light on the disenfranchisement of patients and providers alike due to poverty, profiling, sexism, and stigmas.
Speaking with honesty and compassion, Dr. Harper reflects on her journey from navigating a complicated family in Washington D.C. to attending Harvard, where she pursued emergency medicine and met her husband. They stayed together through medical school—until two months before she was scheduled to join the staff of a Philadelphia hospital, when he told her he couldn’t move with her. Her marriage at an end, Dr. Harper began a new career in a new city, as a newly single woman. Longlisted for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Nonfiction, The Beauty in Breaking tells how she learned to bring insight and empathy into the emergency room, and how recognizing and mending physical, emotional, and psychological breaks are all crucial parts of the healing process.
A graduate of Harvard University and the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, Dr. Harper has worked for over a decade in various hospitals, including being the chief resident at Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx and an attending physician in the emergency department at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Philadelphia. She currently resides in Philadelphia.
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