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January 23/30, 2002

Patients' Stories as Narrative—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;287(4):447-448. doi:10.1001/jama.287.4.447

In Reply: I appreciate the attention to the clinical, structural, and emotional dimensions of narrative medicine raised in these letters. Dr Donnelly demonstrates how central are narrative acts to medical practice. Although I did not discuess the teaching hospital chart note, it is one among very many concrete applications of narrative frameworks to medical practice. I suggest that the problem is not only in how we physicians write in charts but, more fundamentally, what we have come to consider salient to health and caring for illness. As we widen and deepen our notions of what we need to know about patients, our writing will deepen accordingly.

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