At the center of any health care is communication.
In the 21st century, that communication gets pushed to the sidelines.
Healthcare Providers face an ever-increasing to-do list that is only tangential to patients’ concerns. They face an ever-increasing volume of available patient data.
Patients increasingly feel lost and dehumanized in the process of receiving care.
Medical Storytelling puts communication at the center of health care.
The most important part of a story is its structure. Stories structure information. They select details, organize events, and relate pieces to one another.
Medical Storytelling recognizes that if health care providers are familiar with the usage and efficiency of Storytelling and Narrative, they are
- better equipped to hear the layers of patients’ concerns,
- able to discuss a differential diagnosis in the ways the patient needs to hear it,
- more engaged in the process of patient care,
- achieve higher rates of patient adherence, and
- more resilient against burnout.
In short, if physicians have “Narrative Competence”, they are happier, they can lower costs, and they can increase positive medical outcomes.
I call on my own near-fatal medical history, my experience with chronic illness, and my experience teaching storytelling structure to professionals. I help healthcare providers implement Medical Storytelling in practice through teaching and workshops.