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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 337-344

Storytelling in medical education, clinical care, and clinician well-being

Center for Palliative Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Correspondence Address:
MD Cory Ingram
Center for Palliative Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/amhs.amhs_289_21

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We all share our lived experiences with others through stories. Sometimes we may share a story in conversation over a cup of coffee or simply share a photograph with a friend to illustrate an event in our life. During our health care training we can learn concepts through reading textbooks, medical articles, and informational lectures. However, it is often the real-life stories that teach the lessons, so it is best understood, remembered, and applied. This actionable knowledge is created through patients, family members, and/or clinicians sharing their stories. When learners are able to acknowledge, absorb, interpret, and act on the stories of others they are practicing narrative medicine. Storytelling bridges the worlds of patients, families, clinicians, health systems, policy makers, communities, cultures, and traditions to help us find common understanding to create experiences that match our expectations and improve the lived experience of giving and getting patient centered healthcare. This paper reviews the literature on storytelling as a methodology that lends a rich opportunity for meaningful academic productivity in research, community engagement, and quality and safety improvement. I close the paper with a sincere invitation to explore a specially crafted storytelling workshop to train patients to craft their stories of receiving health care to share with intentionality, confidence, and emotional wellness with medical audiences to improve the delivery of patient centered care; to improve the delivery of narrative medicine.

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