In 2016, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, launched a Narrative Medicine Initiative designed to enhance physician wellness and cultivate narrative communication skills as a framework for care.

This Narrative Medicine Toolkit & Curriculum is one result of that effort. It is geared towards illuminating and equipping doctors, nurses, translational researchers, therapists and other professionals who work within our rapidly shifting landscape of modern health care. Because sometimes, as author Murray Bail has reminded us, it is ‘necessary to tell the story of all stories, a story specifically to save’ (Eucalyptus, 1999).

Exploring the Narrative Modules

This curriculum is designed to be easily customized for groups and individuals looking to engage with stories on a variety of themes that are particularly relevant to the medical field. 

Narratives for exploration are cross-referenced under the organizing motifs of Compassion, Courage, Gratitude, Healing, Hope, Mortality, Loss, Resilience, Silence, Solitude and Suffering.

Discussion facilitators may choose to work through various modules in the order that best suits their specific aims and purposes. The modules include a variety of selections (both prose and poetry are represented) which explore specific themes.

Each narrative (poem, short story, novel) includes a short contextual background on the author, questions for consideration and discussion, reflective writing prompts and further resources for exploration.

The Narrative Medicine Toolkit and Curriculum will be continuously updated as we develop and enhance the narrative-based modules.

Why Narrative Medicine?
Listen to a brief introduction to this resource.

Narrative for Healing?
View a short film clip on literature and healing, from the University of Warwick, UK.

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