Take a Narrative Med Class
Start writing a post
Arts Entertainment

You Must Take a Narrative Medicine Class

This semester I have been taking a narrative medicine class, and it has changed my outlook on our healthcare system.

You Must Take a Narrative Medicine Class

Currently at West Virginia University, I have been taking an honors course on Narrative Medicine called Medicine in the Arts. Many do not know what narrative medicine is, or how it impacts the future physicians of tomorrow. Narrative Medicine is based upon three main pillars: attention, representation, and affiliation. Through the class we are meant to make connections between artistic production and the health sciences by examining creative arts, such as dance, creative writing, visual art, music, theatre, and literature.

We have done this by examining a plethora of texts. The main ones we have reviewed were "My Own Country: A Doctor's Story" by Abraham Verghese, "Being Mortal" by Atul Gawande, and the film "Wit". The novel "My Own Country" took us inside Dr. Verghese's perspective as he was working with AIDS patients in the 1980s. We see the stigma that surrounds the disease, as well as a physician who sees his patients beyond their symptoms. In "Being Mortal", the plot focuses on end of life care and nursing homes for the elderly. It addresses the issues of empathy, and if it is able to be taught.

The class also allows me to use creative methods outside of my comfort zone to reflect on these art and many others. We had to make a creative midterm project to demonstrate trauma, in which my group constructed a 'Vase of Truth' with text and objects to represent the trauma that was seen in the works we had explored. After reading "My Own Country" we had to do a presentation on how the book influenced us. I presented on the relationship between the AIDs and Opioid epidemics in Appalachia, and how similar and detrimental they are to our health care system.

Through Narrative Medicine I have began to explore how necessary the arts is in the health field. With physician burnout constantly increasing, and the use of Narrative Medicine increasing as well, there is need for reflection through the arts. Many medical schools now offer Narrative Medicine courses, aimed at helping future physicians connect with the part of themselves that wanted to become a physician in the first place. These tactics allow both patients and physicians to properly express what they have witnessed and been through, while benefitting each other in the process.

I encourage all of you to take a course in Narrative Medicine while you are in college, or at least do research on your own to discover its implications.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?

Up until last week, I always had a major. I was an international business major, finance major, psych major on the pre-medicine track… and now (finally) I am exactly where I should have been when I started college: undecided. I think there is too much pressure as a high school student to have a designated path about what you want to study, be when you 'grow up' and essentially spend the rest of your life doing. As an 18-year-old, I really feel like I tried to pin myself down to a major so that I had a set path to follow and something to look towards. This is probably very conventional and I know tons of people at school who have their minds made up about what they want to study.

Keep Reading... Show less

Life Is Messy

Finding who you are in your 20s

Life Is Messy

I am 25 years old and just now learning who I am. When I separated from my husband I was terrified of what would follow. I did not know who I was outside of a relationship, nor did I know how to be on my own. It was scary, and I was so lost. I spent months discovering who I was, and what I wanted to be. I am still searching as I believe we never truly know who we are even when we "grow up". I came to the realization that I had been hiding a part of myself for my entire life. Coming out was not easy, growing up in the church made it scary, and hard. I was told growing up that being anything but straight was such a sin, and that i would spent my life in hell because of it. I came out to my parents when I was 25 years old. I picked up the phone and called my mom, and uttered the words "I'm queer" through tears. I knew my parents would be supportive, but that didn't make it any easier for me to vulnerable and raw. Since then, I have slowly started being more authentic in who I am, and not hide parts of me just because of people's shitty opinions.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

Ask your best friend these basic questions to see just how well they know you.

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments