David Watts is from a family of musicians, farmers, educators, and philosophers and has slowly wandered through most of the family professions throwing medicine into the mix. He is a gastroenterologist and a professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, a professor of literature and poetry at the Fromm Institute, a classically trained musician, a television producer and host, and author of three books of poetry and a collection of stories from the practice of medicine, Bedside Manners. His commentaries can be heard on NPR’s All Things Considered.
Watts is the inventor of the Third Eye Retroscope, an endoscopic innovation to aid gastroenterologists in the detection of colon cancer, currently in clinical trials at Avantis Medical Systems of Sunnyvale, California.
He founded the Writing the Medical Experience Conference at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and Sarah Lawrence College. Each summer this conference brings the best writers in the nation together with aspiring writers to study and perfect the craft of writing about illness and healing.
Watts grew up in Texas but sidled out to California where he now lives in Mill Valley with his wife, the poet Joan Baranow, and their two excellent sons. His upcoming books include a memoir and a second collection of medical stories.