Narrative Medicine Fellowships: Professional Formation through Stories
This Presidential Fund Award was granted by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation upon the close of the successful ABIM Forum in Park City, Utah in summer 2015 on the theme of narrative education and story-telling in medicine. As a fitting sequel to a vigorous endorsement of the importance of narrative skills for physicians, the ABIM Foundation agreed to fund this project as a means to intensify the narrative training given to medical students and residents. The award was made to Columbia University in December 2015 to support Narrative Medicine Fellowships granted in August 2016. “Narrative Medicine Fellowships: Professional Formation through Stories” proposed to deliver modest funding to graduates of the Master of Science in Narrative Medicine program at Columbia University to design and execute interventions in settings of clinical training to enhance trainees’ professional identity formation with methods of narrative medicine.
Results of previous Narrative Medicine Fellowships and interim progress reports from the 2016-2017 cohort demonstrate the power of medical students and even pre-medical students to act as change agents who can bring rigorous narrative knowledge and competence into the mainstream of medical education and practice. This process, the evidence is showing, is a means toward replenishing internal medicine with the empathy, patient-centeredness, and clinician wellbeing it craves.It was suggested that narrative and story-telling methods are powerful means to develop increased self-awareness, empathy, perspective-taking, pleasure, and work engagement in clinicians and trainees and increased health care team effectiveness.
The partnership between the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation and the Program in Narrative Medicine of Columbia University exemplifies a well-working organization/member collaboration. We feel proud that our grass-roots work in developing narrative medicine and training a cadre of pre-medical and medical students in rigorous clinically necessary skills has earned the endorsement of our Board, and we are deeply grateful for the support this award represents.
In August, 2016, the Directors of the Program in Narrative Medicine selected five fellowships proposals to fund for 2016-17. Two of these proposals were designated as American Board of Internal Medicine awards, selected because their goals were to contribute to clinical trainees’ professional formation through narrative medicine training. The following Executive Summaries describe the two ABIM award proposals: “Envisioning Narrative Competence in Medical Education: A Qualitative Study of Narrative Medicine Alumni in Medical School” by Faiz Jiwani and Jenna Reece and “Exploring the Implementation of Narrative Medicine Workshops among Brooklyn Hospital Pediatric Residents” by Apurva Khedagi and Ssanyu Birigwa.
Exploring the Implementation of Narrative Medicine Workshops among Brooklyn Hospital Pediatric Residents
In this qualitative research methods project, we will explore the application of Narrative Medicine as a tool toward wellness, emotional well-being, and self-care. Through close reading of various forms of literature, art, and concepts of spirituality, we hope to empower pediatric residents by making self-care and mindfulness practices accessible. We strive to share innovative methods of self-care in graduate medical education through the practice of Narrative Medicine, a fluid, diverse, and potentially powerful medium of personal reflection and coping.
We facilitated Narrative Medicine workshops at The Brooklyn Hospital with pediatric residents for our teaching practicum in spring 2016, with the guidance of Associate Pediatric Residency Program Director Cynthia Katz. We explained that we hoped to illuminate how art and literature can bring about a different, expansive way of thinking that allows one to listen to one’s own mind and to others. We hoped the workshops would offer the residents a time, within their busy schedules, to be present to and with one another. At the close of our well-received seminar, the Associate Director offered us the opportunity to continue Narrative Medicine seminars during fall 2016 to promote mindfulness, self-care, empathy, and reflection among the residents. This document describes the proposed seminar content, the teaching methods we will adopt, the plans for evaluation of the intervention, and potential means of disseminating lessons learned.
Envisioning Narrative Competence in Medical Education: A Qualitative Study of Narrative Medicine Alumni in Medical School
We are medical students who completed the Master of Science in Narrative Medicine program between our third and fourth year of training during the 2015-2016 academic year. As the Narrative Medicine program enters its seventh year, the first alumni classes to complete medical school are now entering residency training programs. This is an opportune moment to examine the impact of the Master’s program on the medical education experiences of alumni and, through their work, on their peers and faculty.We propose to interview Narrative Medicine alumni who are currently in or have recently completed their medical education to learn how they have used their narrative medicine training in their medical schools. Forty-seven alumni of the Masters program were either medical students when they enrolled in the MS or applied to medical school upon completion of the degree. We plan to invite these alumni to be interviewed by one of us about their experiences in medical school.
Grant Duration: December 2015 – June 2017