Beyond Medical Histories: Gaining Insight from Patient Stories
Physicians and healthcare providers are - fundamentally - professional story-listeners, story-shapers, and story-responders. This shouldn’t come as a surprise; people have always related to each other and the world through the telling, listening, and interpreting of stories.
But increasingly complex health problems, compounded by social factors and other burdens, make for increasingly complex stories. Healthcare professionals make decisions, including the appropriate use of technology, based on the stories patients share. Yet, storytelling and listening are skills that are often largely omitted from the training of healthcare professionals.
Healthcare providers must think more creatively, more like creative writers. In the narrative disaster zone of the emergency department, patients’ stories often feel like first drafts, and first drafts—for most of us—can be raw and messy.
Expertise with stories is a low-tech skill that’s fundamental to connection, communication, curiosity, and problem-solving. It’s a clinical ability with multiple potential benefits, ranging from making us more mindful of our thinking to improving patient engagement. Aptitude with stories can both expand our tolerance for uncertainty and reduce risk.
We’ll focus on stories - challenging stories, in particular. We’ll discuss why healthcare providers must think more creatively, even in a field that prides itself on its grounding in scientific evidence.
Upcoming start dates
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- Virtual Classroom
Who should attend?
Course delivery details
This course is offered through Brown University, a partner institute of EdX.
2-3 hours per week
- Verified Track -$49
- Audit Track - Free
Certification / Credits
What you'll learn
- How to apply story anatomy to stories patients tell in clinical medicine
- Tools for gaining traction in difficult stories and responding to them
- Many ways in which stories can unconsciously influence decisions
- How to embrace uncertainty and mystery in medicine as opportunities for deeper inquiry - rather than risks
- Ways to use story-making skills to build empathy and gain insight into the experiences of others
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