It’s been said that practicing medicine is both an art and a science. Columbia University now offers a master’s degree program in Narrative Medicine. The program teaches doctors the art of how to be better listeners and then how to apply what they hear from their patients to medical care.
Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education website states: “Narrative medicine addresses the need of patients and caregivers to voice their experience, to be heard and to be valued, and it acknowledges the power of narrative to change the way care is given and received.”
Dr. Rita Charon is the executive director of the Narrative Medicine program at Columbia. She spoke at TEDxAtlanta about how listening to patients improves care. Her personal examples are powerful. The video reeled me in; she is an excellent storyteller.