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Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

Narrateur: Reflections on Caring

What is Narrative Medicine?


“Narrative Medicine” is an emerging field at the crossroads of Medicine, the Arts and the Sciences aimed at creating “narrative competence,” which is the ability to acknowledge, absorb, interpret and act on the stories and plights of others. The tools we employ for nurturing narrative competence include reflection and expression through writing, the visual arts and other creative practices. Narrative reflection is a part of the curriculum of the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine alongside the basic and clinical sciences, serving the explicit goal of achieving insight, personal growth and, ultimately, more humanistic and compassionate medical practice.

At the School of Medicine, reflective writing helps members of the healthcare team think and communicate effectively about newfound knowledge and skills, personal experiences, relationships, and discoveries in all aspects of medicine. Learners will have many opportunities to engage in reflective writing exercises, sharing and discussion to help process the feelings provoked in the journey from lay person to professional. The use of narrative reflection, therefore, is very much in keeping with the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine mission to train physicians who value Professionalism, Humanism, Scholarship and Patient-centered Care.