Rita Charon – Narrative Medicine

As part of the BBC’s celebration NHS at 70 in 2018, Rita Charon, doyenne of narrative medicine at Columbia University, New York, contributed five episodes for BBC Radio 3’s The Essay about how study of literature and fiction can help clinicians to engage more fruitfully with patients. The overall theme is that reading about people and their existential struggles can open the reader’s imagination to important issues in the lives of their patients. And in literature these issues are often described from completely different perspectives from the reader’s, resulting in an important process of reframing.

The literature used in these … Read more...

John Launer – How Not to be a Doctor

John Launer is a GP and medical educator. The fifty entertaining and stimulating essays collected in How Not to be a Doctor were all first published in the Postgraduate Medical Journal and the Quarterly Journal of Medicine. They are well worth dipping into.

Launer is a passionate advocate of the importance of patient stories. This means not just careful listening and interpretation of stories for clinical and diagnostic purposes, but also enabling patients to construct stories to make sense of their lives.

There are several essays about important questions for doctors to ask in the consultation process. He gives … Read more...