Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness

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9780195166750: Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness

Narrative medicine has emerged in response to a commodified health care system that places corporate and bureaucratic concerns over the needs of the patient. Generated from a confluence of sources including humanities and medicine, primary care medicine, narratology, and the study of doctor-patient relationships, narrative medicine is medicine practiced with the competence to recognize, absorb, interpret, and be moved by the stories of illness. By placing events in temporal order, with beginnings, middles, and ends, and by establishing connections among things using metaphor and figural language, narrative medicine helps doctors to recognize patients and diseases, convey knowledge, accompany patients through the ordeals of illness--and according to Rita Charon, can ultimately lead to more humane, ethical, and effective health care.
Trained in medicine and in literary studies, Rita Charon is a pioneer of and authority on the emerging field of narrative medicine. In this important and long-awaited book she provides a comprehensive and systematic introduction to the conceptual principles underlying narrative medicine, as well as a practical guide for implementing narrative methods in health care. A true milestone in the field, it will interest general readers, and experts in medicine and humanities, and literary theory.

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About the Author:

Rita Charon is at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Review:


"The first portion of Narrative Medicine summarizes the intellectual underpinnings of the field that Charon has helped create, but it is in describing her own practice that her story becomes most compelling...Such emotionally compelling stories hook us and allow us to "know" patients in an apparently fully way than a sterile medical chart generally permits."--New England Journal of Medicine


"The optimistic centerpiece of this beautifully written and heartfelt book is the idea that the central function of doctoring is listening and that clinicians can improve the way they interact with patients if they think about narratives, literary and patient-derived, in new ways."--Annals of Internal Medicine


"The first portion of Narrative Medicine summarizes the intellectual underpinnings of the field that Charon has helped create, but it is in describing her own practice that her story becomes most compelling...Such emotionally compelling stories hook us and allow us to "know" patients in an apparently fully way than a sterile medical chart generally permits."--New England Journal of Medicine


"Perhaps the work of Charon and her colleaguesmay eventually change the way prospective doctors are taught to obtain patient histories, so that they focus less, for example, on the responses to a multiplicity of systems-review questions and more on eliciting patients'life stories."--JAMA


"The optimistic centerpiece of this beautifully written and heartfelt book is the idea that the central function of doctoring is listening and that clinicians can improve the way they interact with patients if they think about narratives, literary and patient-derived, in new ways."--Annals of Internal Medicine


"Charon is the driving force behind narrative medicine, and by all accounts she is a tireless advocate, knowledgeable and passionate about her cause... [The book's] ideal readers are doctors who are looking for an alternative to reductionist medical approaches, and who want a medicine that sees into people's souls, acknowledging their suffering and their strengths, with room for their spirituality. The book gives a reasonably detailed impression of a way of doing narrative medicine, and it has a good collection of stories of physicians and patients."--Metapsychology Online Review


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Charon, Rita
Editore: Oxford University Press (2006)
ISBN 10: 0195166752 ISBN 13: 9780195166750
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