By Wendy Sarubbi | April 16, 2012 2:29 pm

Encouraging communication between patients and their physicians is the goal of a College of Medicine student organization and recently the group – called Narrative Medicine at the COM – recently held a story-sharing event featuring Dean Deborah German.

Dr. German demonstrated the use of storytelling in medical practice by highlighting the benefits of listening to a patient’s narrative and exploring the role of the doctor as a teacher. She urged patients to share their stories in an effort to “show” patients how to improve their health rather than “tell” them.

The mission of Narrative Medicine at the COM is to enrich the student experience in medical school through storytelling, sharing experiences through writing and reading narrations from patients, peers and clinicians and exploring literature relevant to the field of medicine.

“Our storytelling events aim to help students gain a better understanding of the unique relationship and experiences between the physician and patient. Through sharing stories we aim to encourage empathy and better communication” said M-1 student Heidi Emrani. I know I will call on these stories in my own practice one day.”

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