“Narrative medicine programs teach doctors and other caregivers ‘sensitive interviewing skills’ and the art of ‘radical listening’ to improve patient care.”
“Waclawa ‘Joanne’ Zak, who now lives in Oxford, Wis., fought in the Polish resistance during World War II. As a teenager, she served as a scout, assessing German troop strength and positions. Later in the war she trained as a nurse and was liberated from a German P.O.W. camp. She told her story as part of the ‘My Life, My Story’ program at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wis.” Credit…Andy Manis for The New York Times
by Richard Schiffman
“The pandemic has been a time of painful social isolation for many. Few places can be as isolating as hospitals, where patients are surrounded by strangers, subject to invasive tests and attached to an assortment of beeping and gurgling machines.
“How can the experience of receiving medical care be made more welcoming? Some say that a sympathetic ear can go a long way in helping patients undergoing the stress of a hospital stay to heal.
“’It is even more important now, when we can’t always see patients’ faces or touch them, to really hear their stories,’ said Dr. Antoinette Rose, an urgent care physician in Mountain View, Calif., who is now working with many patients ill with Covid.
“’This pandemic has forced many caregivers to embrace the human stories that are playing out. They have no choice. They become the “family” at the bedside,’ said Dr. Andre Lijoi, a medical director at York Hospital in Pennsylvania. Doctors, nurses and others assisting in the care of patients ‘need time to slow down, to take a breath, to listen.’
“Both doctors find their inspiration in narrative medicine, a discipline that guides medical practitioners in the art of deeply listening to those who come to them for help.”
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“My Life, My Story: Advancing the Veteran Experience” – Veterans Affairs