Writing to Heal
Sharing Our Stories: Writing for Wellness
Tuesday, September 30, 5:15-7:15 pm 5:15-7:15 pm
Thursday, November 13, 5:15-7:15 pm
Wilkins Board Room, Evans Building, BUMC
Creating a welcome environment for interdisciplinary clinicians:
Express themselves in writing
Interact with other caregivers outside the ward or clinic
Support writing for publication
All BUMC/BMC student, staff, faculty welcomed
Co-Sponsored by: BMC: Medical Dental Staff Wellness Committee, Nursing Department, Patient Advocacy, BU Faculty Staff Assistance Program
Directors: Jane Liebschutz, MD MPH, Susan DeCristofaro, RN MS OCN, Ellen Kolton, MPH
The emphasis in today’ clinical practice is on providing patient-centered care. However, with inherent time constraints, clinicians don’t always have the opportunity to learn about the person behind the illness. To address this issue, a BMC physician and nurse educator have organized a workshop series to offer the chance for clinicians and others who interact with patients to write about their experiences.
The workshop is loosely based on the work of Rita Charon, a physician at Columbia University Medical School, who founded the Program of Narrative Medicine there.
Narrative writing is grounded on the premise that writing about the person behind the illness improves care, compassion, and ultimately satisfaction, for both patients and their health care providers. (For more information see http://www.narrativemedicine.org.) Dr. Charon explains that narratives have the power to complement clinical practice by allowing writers to explore –and be moved– by the stories of illness. Columbia’s program is aimed at helping “physicians, nurses, social workers, mental health professionals, chaplains, social workers, academics, and all those interested in the intersection between narrative and medicine improve the effectiveness of care by developing these skills with patients and colleagues.”
The BMC workshop is free and open to clinicians as well as other caregivers. It is aimed at creating a safe environment for participants to write in facilitator-led small groups. The format will allow time for those who wish to simply exercise the chance to write, as well as for those who wish to publish their work in peer-reviewed journals (such as JAMA”s “Piece of my Mind” section). There will be opportunities to share writing and receive feedback from others in the group.