Jack El-Hai is an award-winning medical writer who has published hundreds of articles and more than a dozen books. He has led workshops for physician-writers and given talks and grand rounds presentations at the Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota, Yale University, Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, the University of Mississippi, the University of Iowa, the University of Maryland, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Toronto, Tufts University, Cornell University, Carleton College, the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, and many other institutions. He has also given talks at conferences of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the American Psychological Association, and other organizations.
El-Hai’s books include The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness (Wiley), which was adapted into a PBS American Experience television documentary, and The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Herman Göring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII (PublicAffairs), translated into a dozen languages. He is currently writing books for the Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health (Perinatal Research Branch).
He has contributed articles to Scientific American, Wired, Discover, GQ, The Atlantic, Smithsonian, Aeon, The Washington Post Magazine, and many other publications. These articles have won the June Roth Memorial Award for Medical Journalism, Outstanding Article honors from the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and other awards.
His other writing honors include two Minnesota Book Awards, a McKnight Fellowship, and the annual book award of the Medical Journalists’ Association of the United Kingdom.
As a teacher, El-Hai has coached many writers at a variety of career levels and led workshops and courses in the MFA creative writing program at Augsburg University, the journalism and creative writing programs of the University of Minnesota, and The Loft Literary Center, where he formerly served as the Board Chair. He earned an MFA in creative writing and literature from Bennington College and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Carleton College.
Many of El-Hai’s articles and books have been optioned for film and television, and his book The Lost Brothers: A Family’s Decades-Long Search (University of Minnesota Press) was adapted into the six-part podcast Long Lost, produced by Twin Cities PBS.