Lawrence Spann, PhD, PA-C

Lawrence Spann gives us tips on how to overcome writer's procrastination. Learn something new - in just a minute or two! With something for everyone, Santa Barbara City College Center for Lifelong Learning lets you choose from hundreds of evening, weekday, or Saturday classes & workshops in Santa Barbara, California.

There is strong scientific evidence that writing improves immune function and overall well-being. A vast time honored literary tradition substantiates this claim. Many people fear writing and deny their deepest creative and receptive impulses. One’s best writing, like a waking dream, comes from letting go and allowing authentic and raw emotions to flow on to paper and best of all writing can be fun. 

Welcome to The Table

Literature & Medicine

There is strong scientific evidence that writing improves immune function and overall well-being. A vast time honored literary tradition substantiates this claim. Many people fear writing and deny their deepest creative and receptive impulses. One’s best writing, like a waking dream, comes from letting go and allowing authentic and raw emotions to flow on to paper. 

Lawrence’s Brief Biography

Lawrence grew up in Buffalo playing football in the streets, attending parochial school and delivering newspapers. He was an an All-High swimmer. Early on he was drawn to books and wrote poetry. He was an English major at the University of Miami and worked as a garbage man, construction worker, ocean lifeguard, firefighter/paramedic before completing physician assistant training at Duke University where he became program director of DUPAC (Duke University’s Preventive Approach to Cardiology) and later held the same position at Duke’s Rice Diet Program. In California he was executive director of the Lifestyle Heart Trial in Sausalito. He founded LAMP (Literature, Arts, and Medicine Program) in Sacramento in 2002. LAMP received national attention as the first hospital-based writing program ever to appear on “Literary Row” at the prestigious Dodge Poetry Festival. He facilitates writing groups at Santa Barbara City College and in private practice and is a physician assistant in the anticoagulation department at Santa Barbara’s Sansum Clinic.

Formal Education

  • Bachelors Degree: English; Minors in Philosophy and Psychology - University of Miami, Florida
  • Bachelors Degree: Health Sciences - Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • Masters Degree: Health Sciences - Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • Doctor of Philosophy: Creative Writing with Emphasis in Medical Humanities - Union Institute & University

Selected Licensure and Certifications

  • Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C)
  • National Commission on Certification of Physician’s Assistants (NCCPA) 
  • Therapeutic Yoga Teacher, Santa Barbara
  • Amherst Writers & Artists Certified Writing Instructor
  • Exercise Program Director, American College of Sports Medicine

Professional

  • Physician Assistant, Anticoagulation Specialist, Sansum Clinic, Santa Barbara, California
  • Physician Assistant, Anticoagulation Specialist, Duke University Medical Center, Hematology Division, Durham, North Carolina
  • Founder & Director, Literature, Arts, and Medicine Program (LAMP), Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, California
  • Instructor, New York University School of Medicine
  • Executive Director, Preventive Medicine Research Institute, Sausalito, California
  • Program Director/Senior Physician Associate, Duke University Medical Center: Heart Disease Reversal Clinic & Rice Diet Program
  • Program Director, St. Francis Hospital, Greenville, South Carolina
  • Program Director/Senior Physician Associate/Cardiac Rehabilitation, Duke University’s Preventive Approach to Cardiology (DUPAC)