Tuesday, January 29, 2008

When Medicine Meets Literature: Scientific American

When Medicine Meets Literature: Scientific American: "Charon is trying to change that. Besides being a general internist and a professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, she holds a Ph.D. in English. She and others are seeking to improve the relationship between physicians and patients using literature and writing. The goal is to make doctors more empathetic by getting them to articulate and deal with what they feel and to develop sophisticated listening skills, ears for the revelations hidden in imagery and subtext. The field--alternatively called narrative medicine, literature and medicine, or medical humanities, depending on the approach--began by most accounts about 30 years ago and is now widely reflected in medical school curricula around the country. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, 88 of 125 surveyed U.S. medical schools offered humanities courses in 2004; at least 28 required literature or narrative study in some form."

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