Saturday, July 09, 2005

Narrative Medicine

The doctors we end up liking and referring to our friends are invariably good listeners. They seem enraptured by our litany of woes sound like it were music to their ears.

The idea of narrative medicine is perhaps a formal way of making more successful listeners and communicators out of doctors. Being able to reference literature in the context of one's medical condition and have the doctor clue in to the allusions could make connect two human beings at a very fundamental level.

When a nurse seeks "to dissociate my living from your dying" she talks of her susceptibility to suffering around her. She is not emotionally impervious as is mandated by her profession. Bringing down the barriers that exist between care giver and receiver could be therapeutic for both.

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