In this narrative medicine essay, a level-one trauma nurse compares Arizona’s 2 seasons with the waning and the waxing of patient admissions and with the cycle of grief for loss of her mother and son, realizing how much their deaths have affected her nursing.
In this narrative medicine essay, a primary care physician describes his patient’s struggle with obesity, sees himself in his patient, and wonders if his own struggles with weight loss impede his patient’s efforts to lose weight.
In this narrative medicine essay, a family physician shares the beginning and ending of a near 12-year journey with a patient, helping him reach sobriety that led to a full though short life and feeling humbled to have been so entrusted to travel with him.
In this narrative medicine essay, a psychologist peels back the layers of her reticence and comes to terms with working with transgender patients as a member of LGBT community.
In this narrative medicine essay, a primary care physician describes a drawing by a 7-year-old patient who is sitting on an examination table with her mother cradling her baby sister with the physician’s back to them entering data in the computer as an example of a system that is sacrificing human contact for electronics.
In this narrative medicine essay, Donald M. Berwick shares the story of his patient Isaiah with the 2012 Harvard Medical School graduating class as an example of a patient who deserved the treatment that cured him of leukemia but whose life was lost to poverty and exhorts them to regard health care as human right that must be preserved in the clinic and in public.
In this narrative medicine essay, a resident physician recalls the joy she felt while learning the formal language of medicine as a student and anticipates the lifelong joy of learning to interpret that language in ways most helpful for her patients.
In this narrative medicine essay, an attending physician shares his observations of how the changing nature of electronic medical record (EMR) hospital progress notes—often entered out of sequence and becoming ever longer and more unreadable—can hamper interacting with patients and providing patient care.
In this narrative medicine essay, the sister of a young man with Gardner syndrome reflects on the care her brother received over his nearly three decades of life and offers her observations on several things physicians and other members of health care teams can do to achieve true patient-centered care.
In this narrative medicine essay, a group of physicians from an academic program in bedside medicine offer their observations on deficiencies in the assessment of US medical residents’ clinical skills and suggest principles for enhancing the teaching and high-stakes assessment of these skills to improve diagnostic accuracy and achieve truly patient-centered care.
In this narrative medicine essay, a physician reflects on the rise of professional boundaries; on the ways in which such boundaries can in some instances foster uncaring patient-physician relationships; and on ways physicians might balance providing objective medical care and addressing social and economic injustices in the lives of their patients.
In this narrative medicine essay, a physician shares his thoughts about how the phrase “there is no evidence to suggest,” commonly used in the medical literature, can lead to false inferences and suppression of clinical intuition, and suggests four alternative phrases for clarifying inferences and improving shared decision-making.
In this narrative medicine essay, an emergency medicine physician recalls an encounter early in her career when she was asked by parents to make a recommendation regarding ending life support for a young child, reflects on the way practice has changed from physician-centric to patient-involved decision-making, and discusses how her husband’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis brought up a different perspective.
In this narrative medicine essay, a medical student reflects on individualized teaching practices in medicine, such as “the Socratic method,” in the context of her intervening course work related to a PhD in ancient history.
In this narrative medicine essay, a physician reflects on his father’s experience, at the age of 85 years, of getting a physical examination from a new primary care physician that ended up setting off a cascade of examinations and treatments.
In this narrative medicine essay, an African American physician reflects on her experience one day with a white member of her ward team made up of two interns, three medical students, and a senior resident that sparked cultural and racial discussions throughout their month together that usually do not occur in such a diverse group.
In this narrative medicine essay, a physician reflects on an experience during his medical residency involving the family dynamics of a couple in an effort to treat the pain of the husband.
In this narrative medicine essay, an attending physician reflects on the evolution of the role of the attending physician from a supervisor in the background to a micromanaging supervisor to ensure that the proper steps are followed to meet the quality metrics in place in the current health system.
In this narrative medicine essay, a medical student reflects on the ways in which she has seen racism and implicit bias affect clinical practice and emphasizes the importance of examining and challenging these biases to address health inequalities.
In this narrative medicine essay, a physician recounts an error in which his patient received double the dose of a medication he prescribed, and what he learned from asking the patient for forgiveness.
In this narrative medicine essay, a physician describes the power of anecdotes and stories as tools for public communication, education, and advocacy.
In this narrative medicine essay, the author discusses the inaccuracies of generational stereotypes and unfounded criticisms about trainees, and the problems that faculty members who voice these criticisms can cause among physicians.
In this narrative medicine essay, the author describes his experience with a patient referred to as “unreasonable,” and what the experience taught him about the need for physicians to perhaps improve their communication skills with patients rather than jump to labelling them.
In this essay, the author relays his personal experience with ethnicity-based discrimination and discusses the “microaggressions” that medical trainees from underrepresented groups based on race/ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation experience.
In this narrative medicine essay, a teaching physician uses the fictitious characters Holmes and Watson to dispell the belief held by many physicians—that a thorough physical examination is an unnecessary art of the past. His emphasis: taking time to gather data and observe can avoid unneeded tests and guide accurate diagnosis.
This narrative medicine essay summarizes ways in which physicians can use polite and scripted interruption to help patients effectively communicate their medical concerns, encourage further details, improve accuracy of the diagnosis, and set the agenda for the medical visit.
In this narrative medicine essay, an anesthesia resident describes his feelings of loss and unease when a coresident is admitted as a patient and dies of an overdose of fentanyl; this article emphasizes the importance of prioritizing physician wellness programs to help avoid burnout and substance use disorder.
In this essay, Don Berwick considers moral choices physicians face personally, organizationally, and globally and exhorts them to understand that the health of humanity depends on their speaking out against the social injustice of overpricing drugs and services, mass incarceration, and the lack of environmental responsibility.
In this essay, a critical care pediatric hospitalist finds herself on the other side of the office table advocating for the specific medical care needed to address her son’s rare skeletal dysplasia and her search for a pediatric specialist with whom to travel on this quest.
In this essay, a young medical student describes her struggle with depression and how the experience of vulnerability has bred a deep compassion for her patients and peers.
In this narrative essay, the author wonders what effect the #metoo phenomenon will have on mentoring between male mentors and junior female trainees and faculty and recalls male mentors who were supportive of her and other women colleagues’ professional development in a plea for diversity and inclusion among leaders in medicine that supports the entire academic medical community.
In this narrative medical essay, the authors present 3 scenarios exemplifying the collision between mentoring expectations among millennials and older generation faculty and proposes strategies to bridge generational divides and engage the next generation of physicians.
In this narrative medical essay, an internist offers three basic lessons not taught in medical school that he learned about practicing medicine based on his experiences from a patient with whom he has built a trusting relationship over the years.
In this narrative medicine essay, the author mourns the suicide of young adult of a friend and relives his brother’s suicide 30 years earlier in a stream of consciousness montage of grief and advice to succor for those left behind.
In this narrative medicine essay, a family practitioner tells the story of how her relationship with an old-order Mennonite woman whose newborn son she examined and took to the hospital for cardiac surgery one Christmas day turns to friendship and a relationship with her broader community when the woman stays with her during her newborn daughter’s cardiac surgery.
In this narrative medicine essay, a psychiatrist used her residency to avoid grieving the loss of her brother to suicide but through participation in a grief support group during training she began to thaw enough to remember her brother, watch videos of ephemeral moments like celebrating his fourth birthday, an act that allowed her to see him and her family again.
In this narrative medicine essay, a physician finds in the motion of diastole, the process of letting go and filling up, an apt metaphor for how to handle the burnout, anxiety, and depression of medical training.
In this narrative medicine essay, a medical school dean talks about the reticence most women feel when considering leadership roles and urges women to work out of their comfort zones, seize diverse opportunities, and step into leadership roles.
In this narrative medicine essay, a surgeon and palliative care physician describes the isolating silence that she felt her after the slaying of her father in Egypt when she was 18 years old and how that lingering silence has come to guide her when sitting with patients, when there are no words.
In this narrative medicine essay, a clinical educator uses her experiences enduring the aftermath of treatment for acute myeloid leukemia to reflect on the difference between physician-teachers and patients’ experience of illness and to locate meaning in what she can offer her colleagues and trainees despite persistent disability.
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