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Author Talk: Cullen Ruff

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Program Type:

Author Event, Book Discussion

Age Group:

Adults (Ages 18+)
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Program Description

Event Details

Join author and physician Cullen Ruff for a discussion of his book Looking WIthin: Understanding Ourselves Through Human Imaging

About the Book

What would it be like to have x-ray vision? Beyond diagnosing illness or injury, can images of ourselves tell us more about life? What if you could see that an accident victim will never walk again; that a young mother has breast cancer; or that a teenager is brain-dead and will be removed from life support? Can imaging help us better appreciate the complexity of existence, our strengths and vulnerabilities? Does looking into the body give insight into what it means to be human? Would it allow you, at least indirectly, to glimpse evidence of the human soul?

Looking Within is the first mainstream collection of dramatic non-fiction narratives about discoveries in patients found by medical imaging. Ruff highlights the wonder and mystery of the human body, literally and metaphorically looking inside of others. Each story describes a patient in whom a life-changing discovery is made: tumors, stroke, domestic violence, substance abuse, sterility, unexpected pregnancy, infection, surgical complications, evidence of criminal activity, mental illness, even impending death. Dr. Ruff’s words, images, and insights help us see ourselves like never before.

About the Author

Cullen Ruff, MD is a radiologist, and an associate professor of medical education at the University of Virginia campus in Falls Church, VA, where he has received awards teaching medical students. Looking Within explores human stories and insights from medical imaging. Short story chapters have appeared in several magazines and online forums, and in 2019, Ruff won a Washington, DC Moth story slam narrating a chapter from Looking Within. Ruff has lectured at the Smithsonian Institute and the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC.