Harnessing the Power of Patient Stories

I personally am a fan and most of all a firm believer in the power of patient stories- the lessons we can learn and the strength that they give to us. Narrative medicine as defined in Wikipedia is a medical approach that recognizes the value of people’s narratives in clinical practice, research and education. Dr. Rita Charon, founder of “narrative medicine” during her lecture at the URMC Highland Hospital says “Sick people need physicians who can understand their diseases, treat their medical problems, and accompany them through their illness.” A quote very close to my heart. There are a lot of learnings out there in patient stories.

An excerpt from the literally example from Anatole Broyard entitled “The Patient Examines the Doctor” states “I would hope that my doctor’s authority and his charisma might help to protect me against..”soul loss”, a sense of terrible emptiness, a feeling that your soul has abandoned your ailing body like rats deserting a sinking ship.. I would like my doctor to understand that beneath my surface cheerfulness, I feel “the power inherent in creation and the sanction of infinity…”

With this let us talk about harnessing the power of patient stories on this Saturday’s edition of #HealthXPh on July 4 at 9pm MLA/9am EST and talk about the following points:

1- What are the pros and cons of telling patient stories?
2- Why do patients tell stories? What are the ethics behind patient stories?
3- How may patient stories be of aid in medical education?

Credits to www.oprah.com for the picture

Credits to www.oprah.com for the picture