Mary T. Shannon Mary earned a second master’s degree from Columbia University in narrative medicine in 2010, and her first master’s in clinical social work in 1988.   She has done post-graduate work in medical art therapy at UC Berkeley, and served as a clinical bioethics intern at the world renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center under a National Institute of Health grant.

Throughout her career in both clinical and administrative human service positions, Mary has consistently turned to the arts for their ability to provide depth, insight and healing for her clients.  From teaching medical students in the Bronx, New York to serving as co-faculty for continuing medical education workshops or presenting at international health and humanities conferences, Mary brings a rich and diverse set of skills and experience to her work.

An early example of an art therapy program Mary developed for adult cancer patients at UC Davis Cancer Center was featured on television, and is shown here on youtube:


Mary is also the author of Call Me Crazy, I Dare You: A Memoir.  An award-winning artist, her most recent pieces of art and narrative were selected for the Oncology on Canvas Exhibition, which toured nationally through 2011-2012.   The art contained in this website is her own.

Click below for a listing of Mary’s publications, art shows and collectors.

  1. For Girls Like Me.  In Our Encounters with Self Harm, published by PCCS Books, 2013.
  2. Cold Comfort.  In Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine.  Online, June 15, 2012
  3. Reconstructing a Self:  Early Trauma and the Healing Power of Narrative.  In Hektoen International, a Journal of Medical Humanities. Volume 4, Issue 1, Spring 2012
  4. Parallel Universe.  In JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association, featured in the column, A Piece of My Mind, August 17, 2011 print issue.
  5. Face Off:  Searching for Truth and Beauty in the Clinical Encounter.  Based on the memoir, Autobiography of a Face, by Lucy Grealy.  In the Journal of Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, published online September 6, 2011, and in print issue, Volume 15, Number 3, 2012, p. 329-335.
  6. The Other Side of Silence.  Original poetry in Leaflet, a medical, lit-art e-journal. Volume 3, Issue 2, 2013.
  7. A Bare Tree in Winter.  Original artwork appearing in print and online in The Permanente Journal.  Fall 2011, Volume 15: No. 4, p. 47.
  8. Dirty Laundry.  In Hektoen International:  A Journal of Medical Humanities,  September, 2011, Volume 3, Issue 3.  Essay with accompanying original art from a series on mental illness:
  9. Crossing Boundaries:  Visual Representations of Death and Dying.   Hektoen International:  A Journal of Medical Humanities, available online:, Vol. 3, Issue 2, May, 2011.
  10. The Invisible Man.  Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine. May 15, 2011, in the “Essays” column:
  11. Giving Pain a Voice:  Narrative Medicine and the Doctor-Patient Relationship.  The Journal of General Internal Medicine, available online April 16, 2011.
  12. Please Hear What I’m Not Saying: The Art of Listening in the Clinical Encounter.  The Permanente Journal, Spring Issue, 2011, Vol. 15, No 2:
  13. Coming Home.  In Leaflet, a medical, lit-art journal, 2011. Volume 2: No. 1.,
  14. Walking Home.  In The Sun Magazine, March 2010, Issue 411, p. 33.
  15. The Portland Art Museum, Rental Sales Gallery: The First 50 Years, 1959 – 2009.  Historical researcher and writer for this coffee table book.  Copyright 2009.
  16. Giving Pain a Voice.  In The Permanente Journal, Volume 8: No. 1.  Winter, 2004, p. 72-73.
  17. Health Promotion and Illness Prevention:  A Biopsychosocial Perspective.   In Health and Social Work, A Journal of the National Association of Social Workers, Volume 14: Number 1, February 1989, p. 32-40.
  18. Adult Children of Schizophrenics.  In Schizophrenia Bulletin, a publication of the Department of Health and Human Services in Rockville, Maryland.  Volume 14:   No. 4, 1988, p. 495-6.
  19. Injustice Comes in Many Guises.  San Francisco Chronicle, December 12, 1997;  editorial on diversity and discrimination.
  20. Medical Staff News Magazine, July/August, 2001, Vol. 32, No. 2; writer, editor, graphic design consultant.
  21. The Descendants:  A Film Review by Dr. David H. Flood and Mary T. Shannon.  In the Lahey Clinic Medical Ethics Journal. Fall, 2012.  Vol. 19, Issue 3.
Professional Presentations
  1. The First International Health and Humanities Conference, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, August 6-8, 2010. Presentation title:  My Mother, My Self:  Paranoid Schizophrenia and the Literary Mirror of Madness
  2. The University of Oregon, October 5, 2011.  Presentation title:  Narrative Medicine:  The Art of Listening in the Clinical Encounter
  3. The Nurse Practitioner’s Organization of Oregon, January 9, 2012. Presentation title:  Narrative Medicine and Reflective Writing:  Tools for Health and Resilience
  4. Co-presenter at the Second International Health and Humanities Conference, Montclair State University, August 9-11, 2012, with Dr. David H. Flood.  Presentation Title:  Narrative Construction of Experience:  Its Role in Creative Arts Therapies Doctoral Education and Beyond





New York Art Expo, Jacob Javits Center, New York, NY
Group Monotype Show, Wiley Studio, Sacramento, CA
17th Annual Fine Art Show, Lake Tahoe at Northstar, CA
16th Annual Fine Art Show, Lake Tahoe at Northstar, CA
Java City, Solo Show, Sacramento, CA
RJ’s Gallery, Group and Solo Show, Sacramento, CA


Oncology on Canvas National Exhibition of art and narrative, 2011-2012.
Davis Art Center, Davis, CA
Mark Reuben Gallery, Sausalito, CA
Tower Corporate Art Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Miles Treaster and Associates, Sacramento, CA
Malki’s Art Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Resource for Art, San Francisco, CA

Private Collectors/Commissions

Mr. and Mrs. Harder, Portland, OR
Dr. Kumar, Sacramento, CA
Daniel Stern, (actor in movies such as City Slickers, Home Alone, etc.), Los Angeles, CA
J. Burnside, Davis, CA
M. Patterson, Foley, MN
G. Lewandowski, San Francisco, CA
N. Mills, Sacramento, CA
M. Iwato, Sacramento, CA
K. Van Vooren, Folsom, CA
D. Lesser, San Francisco, CA
J. Hoyt, Danville, CA
B. Nichols, Tucson, AZ
S. Leer, Riverside, CA
Dr. J. Alferes, Jr., Portland, OR
Dr. D. Flood, Medford, NJ
T. Siegel, Seattle, WA
Dr. R. Charon, New York, NY
Dr. M. Sullivan, New York, NY
Dr. K. Roberts, New York, NY
Dr. C. Irvine, New York, NY
P. Stanley, Salem, NY
Dr. M. Hurst, New York, NY
B. Alferes, Seattle, WA
P. Woram, Portland, OR


1st Place in Printmaking, 17th Annual Fine Art Show, Lake Tahoe, CA
1st Place in Printmaking, 16th Annual Fine Art Show, Lake Tahoe, CA