By: Jackie Glodener
When life is disrupted by illness or the threat of illness, the next step is to see a doctor. In this process, one must have and honest conversation with the doctor. Then, the doctor must try to understand a person’s experience, and to understand the experience of others is a great challenge. A healthcare provider must practice and work hard at achieving proficiency in this process called narrative medicine.
Spreading the idea of narrative medicine is part of Rita Charon’s mission. One way in which she fulfills this mission is in her position as director of the Narrative Medicine program at Columbia University. She partnered with the NIH to enhance medical school curricula to include more humanities. The program focuses on implementing narrative medicine in the health workforce, accepting applicants who are “health care professionals and trainees in clinical disciplines such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychoanalysis, and pastoral care.“
Sponsors for the event include Emory University’s Department of Spanish & Portuguese, J. Gordon Stipe Fund, Hightower Fund, Emory Center for Ethics, and Emory University’s Department of Anthropology. A special thanks to Astry Silvestre for providing pictures of the event.