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Narrative Medicine

The Program in Narrative Medicine was established in the Department of Medicine at Columbia University in 1996. Its mission statement reads: “Narrative Medicine fortifies clinical practice with the narrative competence to recognize, absorb, metabolize, interpret, and be moved by the stories of illness. Through narrative training, the Program in Narrative Medicine helps doctors, nurses, social workers, and therapists to improve the effectiveness of care by developing the capacity for attention, reflection, representation, and affiliation with patients and colleagues. Our research and outreach missions are conceptualizing, evaluating, and spear-heading these ideas and practices nationally and internationally.”

Included in the program are:

Narrative Medicine Rounds
Lecture/reading series with such writers as Mark Nepo, Sue Halpren, Carol Gilligan,

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Discussions of literature

Narrative Medicine Workshops
Three-day intensive workshops for health care professionals and literary scholars engaged in narrative medicine practice. The next workshop will be held October 24 – 26, 2008.

Narrative Oncology
Doctors, nurses, and social workers on the oncology unit of Presbyterian Hospital gather bimonthly to read to one another what they have written about their day-to-day clinical experiences.

Student Creative Rounds and Reflexions, a student literary publication, as well as seminars for students at various levels.

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