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Sharing Medicine
October 2017

Sharing and Healing Through Storytelling in Medicine

Author Affiliations
  • 1Internal Medicine Residency Program, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(10):1409-1410. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.2996

In January 2016, a small audience in San Francisco listened to physicians tell stories about life in medicine. One physician described how her perspective on end-of-life care changed after receiving a few words of advice from her mentor. Another explained how the demands of residency training damaged a treasured friendship. A third physician spoke about a chance encounter on the street with a patient who was homeless. No presentation was rehearsed, and the crowd’s reaction shifted easily between laughter and silence. A year later this program, named “The Nocturnists,” attracted enough interest to fill a theater of 250 listeners, and to draw speakers from many health care disciplines from across the San Francisco Bay Area.1

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