I had the pleasure of attending an AMSA conference as a guest of the Merck Manuals held at Columbia University. The topic of discussion was narrative medicine which was such a coincidence since I just did a piece on parallel charting.
Narrative medicine is a way for patients and caregivers alike to let their experiences be heard, valued, and inevitably change the way healthcare is given/ received through the power of words. I believe it is an excellent practice which is both therapeutic for the writer, and enlightening for the audience. These brave yet heartbreaking stories may have gone without ever being heard if it wasn’t for this innovative approach to medicine. Many clinical centers are picking up on this trend and incorporating it into their residency curriculum. Columbia University even offers a Masters of Science in Narrative Medicine. I’m thrilled that I was able to attend the conference and learn firsthand about narrative medicine from some of the pioneers in the field. I really hope this isn’t just a trend, and the value of such a progressive ideal continues to flourish among the medical community.