Rita Charon, M.D., Ph.D
Executive Director, Program in Narrative Medicine

Rita Charon is Professor of Clinical Medicine and Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. A general internist with a primary care practice in Presbyterian Hospital, Dr. Charon took a Ph.D. in English when she realized how central is telling and listening to stories to the work of doctors and patients. She directs the Narrative Medicine curriculum for Columbia's medical school and teaches literature, narrative ethics, and life-telling, both in the medical center and Columbia's Department of English. Her literary scholarship focuses on the novels and tales of Henry James. Her research projects center on the outcomes of training health care professionals in narrative competence and the development of narrative clinical routines to increase the capacity for clinical recognition in medical practice. She is currently Principal Investigator on an NIH project to enhance the teaching of social science and behavioral science in medical schools.

Her work in narrative medicine has been recognized by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American College of Physicians, the Society for Health and Human Values, the American Academy on Healthcare Communication, and the Society of General Internal Medicine. She is the recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residence and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. She has published and lectured extensively on the ways in which narrative training helps to increase empathy and reflection in health professionals and students. She is author of Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness and co-editor of Psychoanalysis and Narrative Medicine and Stories Matter: The Role of Narrative in Medical Ethics.
Email: rac5@columbia.edu


Nellie Hermann, MFA
Creative Director, Program in Narrative Medicine

Nellie Hermann, M.F.A. is Creative Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University. She is a graduate of Brown University and the M.F.A. program at Columbia. Her first novel, The Cure for Grief (Scribner: 2008), received national acclaim in such publications as Time Magazine, Elle, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and others, and was chosen as a Target “Breakout” book. Hermann's short story "Can We Let the Baby Go?" won first prize in Glimmer Train's 2008 "Family Matters" competition and was published in the Winter, 2010 issue; another story of hers appeared in Glimmer Train in August, 2012. Her non-fiction has appeared in an anthology about siblings, Freud’s Blindspot (Free Press: 2010), as well as in Academic Medicine. She has been an invited resident to numerous artist residencies such as The Millay Colony, The UCross Foundation, and The Saltonstall Foundation of the Arts. Over the last eight years she has taught fiction and narrative medicine to undergraduates, medical students, graduate students, and clinicians of all sorts, and has given conference addresses in Iowa, California, Seoul, Korea, and elsewhere. Her second novel is forthcoming in 2015 with Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
Email: ngh2101@columbia.edu


Craig Irvine, Ph.D
Academic Director, Masters Program in Narrative Medicine

Craig Irvine, Ph.D is a founder and Academic Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, and holds his Ph.D in Philosophy. For more than 15 years, he has been designing and teaching cultural competency, ethics, Narrative Medicine, and Humanities and Medicine curricula for residents, medical students, physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, dentists, and other health professionals. He has over 20 years of experience researching the history of philosophy, phenomenology, and narrative ethics, and over 25 years of experience teaching ethics, humanities, the history of philosophy, logic, and narrative medicine at the graduate, undergraduate, and preparatory school levels. He has published articles in the areas of ethics, residency education, and literature and medicine and has presented at numerous national and international conferences on these and other topics.
Email: ci44@columbia.edu


Maura Spiegel, Ph.D
Associate Director, Program in Narrative Medicine

Maura Spiegel, Ph.D is Senior Lecturer of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where she teaches courses on fiction and film, and is a founder and Associate Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine. She is the co-author of The Grim Reader: Writings on Death, Dying and Living On (Anchor/Doubleday), The Breast Book: An Intimate and Curious History (Workman), which was a Book-of-the-Month Club Quality Paperbacks selection. She co-edited the journal Literature and Medicine (Johns Hopkins University press) with Rita Charon, MD, PhD, for seven years. She has written for The New York Times, and has published essays on the history of the emotions, Charles Dickens, diamonds in the movies, among many other topics. She is currently writing a book about the life and films of Sidney Lumet for St. Martin’s Press.
Email: mls37@columbia.edu


Cindy Smalletz, MA, MS
Program Director, Program in Narrative Medicine

Cindy Smalletz, M.S., M.A., comes from a background of education, technology, and narrative medicine. She is one of the first graduates of the Columbia University Narrative Medicine masters program with an M.S. in Narrative Medicine. She also holds an M.A. in Instructional Design and Technology. While studying and teaching narrative medicine, she also worked for the Center for New Media Teaching and Learning at the Columbia University Medical Center where she focused on purposefully merging technology and education for students, faculty and research grants. By bringing together narrative medicine with education and technology, she plans to change healthcare around the world through better training, communication, self-awareness and empathy.
Email: csmalletz@columbia.edu


Deepthiman Gowda, MD, MPH
Director of Clinical Practice, Program in Narrative Medicine

Deepthiman Gowda is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Gowda serves as Course Director of Foundations of Clinical Medicine, Chair of the Fundamentals Curriculum Committee, and Director of Clinical Practice in the Narrative Medicine Program. He also serves on the New York City Board of Health. To date, Dr. Gowda’s efforts have focused on care to underserved communities, clinical skills education, interprofessional education, and narrative medicine.
Email: dg381@cumc.columbia.edu