This movie is often shown at medical colleges as an example of how doctors and researchers should not behave.
When Margaret Edson wrote the play "Wit" (for which she won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), she was an Atlanta-area kindergarten teacher. In 2010, she changed to teaching sixth grade instead at Inman Middle School in Atlanta. "Wit" was the first (and, as of 2012, the only) play she ever wrote.
To prepare for her role, Dame Emma Thompson shaved her head, following in the footsteps of Kathleen Chalfant and Judith Light, who performed the role of Vivian Bearing on stage.