James Hamblin (journalist)

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James Hamblin
James Hamblin at Spotlight Health Aspen Ideas Festival 2015.JPG
ResidenceBrooklyn, New York
EducationIndiana University (M.D.)
Yale University (M.P.H.)
Wake Forest University (B.S.)
OccupationWriter, Editor
Known forPreventive Medicine, Bioethics
StyleCreative Nonfiction

James Hamblin M.D. is a staff writer at The Atlantic. He hosts the online video show If Our Bodies Could Talk, and is the author of If Our Bodies Could Talk, a nonfiction book about human health published by Doubleday. He is a lecturer in public health at Yale University.


Hamblin grew up in Munster, Indiana and graduated from Munster High School.[1] He graduated from the School of Medicine at Indiana University, then attended Harvard for a year to study internal medicine. Hamblin did his residency as a radiologist at the Medical Center at the University of California, Los Angeles. During his residency, Hamblin trained in improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles.[2] He says he was regularly mistaken for a student due to looking younger than his age, and has often been compared to the sitcom teenage genius Doogie Howser.[3][2][4]

In 2012, Hamblin chose to pursue a career in media and joined The Atlantic and became the editor for its health channel, which had been launched in 2011.[2][1] In 2013, he created an online comedy video show about health and lifestyle topics on The Atlantic website called If Our Bodies Could Talk,[5] for which he was a finalist for a Webby award for Best Web Personality/Host.[2][6] He has been named among the 140 people to follow on Twitter by Time, and BuzzFeed has called him "the most delightful MD ever" in response to his work with that show.[7][2] He also authored If Our Bodies Could Talk, a nonfiction book about human health published by Doubleday.[8][9][10]

Hamblin is currently a writer and senior editor for The Atlantic.[11][12] He has given talks at Harvard Medical School, Wharton School of Business, South by Southwest, and TEDMED. In 2016, he served as moderator at the launch of the White House Precision Medicine Initiative where he interviewed President Barack Obama.[13] Hamblin is a past Yale University Poynter Fellow in journalism.[14]


  • If Our Bodies Could Talk. Doubleday. 2017. ISBN 978-0385540971.


  1. ^ a b 853-2584, Giles Bruce. "Munster native, doctor turned health writer, releases first book". nwitimes.com. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  2. ^ a b c d e "The young doctor". POLITICO Media. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  3. ^ "Separated at Birth: The Atlantic's James Hamblin and 'Doogie Howser, M.D.'". Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  4. ^ "Separated at Birth: The Atlantic's James Hamblin and 'Doogie Howser, M.D.'". Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  5. ^ "If Our Bodies Could Talk". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  6. ^ "If Our Bodies Could Talk - James Hamblin | The Webby Awards". www.webbyawards.com. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  7. ^ "Your Sad Desk Lunch Might Be Killing You". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  8. ^ "If Our Bodies Could Talk, a FAQ for human bodies". kottke.org. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  9. ^ "If Our Bodies Could Talk by James Hamblin | PenguinRandomHouse.com". PenguinRandomhouse.com. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  10. ^ "James Hamblin On Understanding Our Bodies, Our Health". www.wbur.org. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  11. ^ "James Hamblin: A fresh perspective for health journalism". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  12. ^ Hamblin, James. "James Hamblin". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  13. ^ "Precision Medicine: Health Care Tailored to You". whitehouse.gov. 2016-02-25. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  14. ^ "Poynter Fellowship: James Hamblin". Office of Public Affairs & Communications. 2016-05-04. Retrieved 2018-09-27.