Thursday Review: “Can the Future of Medicine Be Saved from the Success of Science?”

The title of Dr. Samuel LeBaron’s article is intriguing enough. The fact that the author quotes three separate poems in a journal called Academic Medicine makes it even more alluring.

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Thursday Review: “Getting Personal: Can Systems Medicine Integrate Scientific and Humanistic Conceptions of the Patient?”

In medicine, just like in other disciplines, there is a distinction between “art” and “science”. A line is drawn between the humanistic and data, between subjective and objective, between mind and body, and what is personal and what is verifiable.

In the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice Henrik Vogt et al. want to answer if systems medicine can bridge the gap between them.
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Thursday Review: “Restoring the Patient’s Voice: The Therapeutics of Illness Narratives”

The bulk of my work is wrapped up in teaching how stories can be useful in clinical situations. I believe that stories and storytelling make life better and more meaningful. I tend, though, to downplay narrative work that can’t explicitly help doctors, nurses, and administrators serve patients more effectively. I suppose that comes from a need to show healthcare professionals the value of medical humanities.

The way that Dr. Jurate A. Sakalys writes about the need to simply let patients talk, though, is a good challenge for me. Writing in the Journal of Holistic Nursing, Sakalys brings up several themes which have come up in the context of patient-provider communication. The focus of the article, though, is on why those narratives are healthy for the patient.

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Thursday Review: “Integrating Narrative Medicine into Clinical Care”

This week’s review centers around a brief but meaningful summary of a 2016 pilot to integrate Narrative Medicine into medical students’ clinical rotations.

So far, most Thursday Reviews have tried to discover how the authors’ findings support and expand the use of storytelling in medicine. This week, I’d like to do something a little different. I’d like to work through the paper and ask questions along the way.
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Are we sure about the “Humanities” in “Medical Humanities”?

In an article published late last year on the Washington Post’s website, Cathy N. Davidson reported on several studies run by Google’s HR department.

The findings were striking: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (“STEM”) ability wasn’t the most important quality in their top employees. It wasn’t even in the top five.
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The Examined Life Conference 2017

The Examined Life Conference is a gathering for the medical humanities hosted by The University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine. The conference is focused mainly on the intersection of writing and medicine, and is cross-pollinated with the literary chops of organizations like The Iowa Writers’ Workshop and The Iowa Review.

Dr. David Thoele, the Director of Narrative Medicine at Advocate Children’s Hospital, has been going for years. He introduced me to the conference, and convinced me to submit a workshop.

Now that the conference is behind us, here are some thoughts as I reflect on what I took away:
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