What is Narrative Medicine?
Stories heal. Not just the writing of the stories or the reading of the stories, but also stories told to another person who serves as a "deep listener."
Professor Rita Charon (Columbia University Medical Center) holds not only an M.D. but also a doctorate in literature. Charon learned that medical students had become de-sensitized to patients and that medical outcomes could be improved by teaching students the New Criticism principles of close reading. Medical students could learn to read their patients by applying these principles. They could also become deep listeners. This work has become established as the Columbia University Medical Center Program in Narrative Medicine and every student seeking a medical degree from Columbia must take at least one course in Narrative Medicine.