Medicine Articles

Story Now Interview: Pete Griffin

At the National Storytelling Network, our mission is to advance all forms of storytelling within the community through promotion, advocacy, and education. STORY NOW! Interview Series The theme of our 2019 annual conference was Story Now! Now! From the boardroom to the classroom, and the page to the stage, personal stories and folktales are catalysts …

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Story Now Interview: Cheryl Cofield

At the National Storytelling Network, our mission is to advance all forms of storytelling within the community through promotion, advocacy, and education. STORY NOW! Interview Series The theme of our 2019 annual conference was Story Now! Now! From the boardroom to the classroom, and the page to the stage, personal stories and folktales are catalysts …

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Story Now Interview: Vera Oye Yaa-Anna

At the National Storytelling Network, our mission is to advance all forms of storytelling within the community through promotion, advocacy, and education. STORY NOW! Interview Series The theme of our 2019 annual conference was Story Now! Now! From the boardroom to the classroom, and the page to the stage, personal stories and folktales are catalysts …

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Story Now Interview: Colleen Jayne

At the National Storytelling Network, our mission is to advance all forms of storytelling within the community through promotion, advocacy, and education. STORY NOW! Interview Series The theme of our 2019 annual conference was Story Now! Now! From the boardroom to the classroom, and the page to the stage, personal stories and folktales are catalysts …

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Kevin Cordi

Challenges to Those Who Respond with Story – A Call Out to Storytellers

By Kevin Cordi Challenges to Those Who Respond with Story – A Call Out to Storytellers One must continually reflect when they chose to take on the ‘mantle of storyteller’ or decide to use stories in their work and daily life. For over 25 years, I work to honor this mantle. This includes not only …

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How Storytelling Can Help Young Doctors Become More Resilient

Harvard Business Review | October 16, 2018 by Jessica Zitter, MD, MPH I recently stood in front of a group of emergency room residents at my hospital and asked an unusual question. “Has any of you ever judged your attending physician for not trying hard enough to save a patient’s life?” Then I looked around …

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New Venture Seeks to Leverage the Power of Recovery Stories

Addiction Professional   September 9, 2019 Matt Conway and T.J. Murphy started RecoverYdia (a hybrid of “recovery” and “media”) as “our response to a suffering world.” They want to counteract the loneliness that has enveloped a technology-connected world by using that world to share moments of personal triumph. Murphy says he and Conway have set out to …

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How To Persuade An Audience That Thinks It Knows Everything

Forbes   September 8, 2019 First, acknowledge your audience’s point of view. People aren’t ready to hear anything disagreeable until they feel heard by having their ideas repeated back to them. Second, ask your audience to take you through the process of how they came to their point of view. This will probably reveal things they …

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Turns Out Storytelling Isn’t Always The Best Way to Get People to Believe Facts

ScienceAlert.com  August 25, 2019 A team of consumer psychology researchers at Northwestern University have been investigating whether stories help convince people of facts, or have the opposite effect. Three experiments suggest that storytelling makes the ‘weaker’ facts easier to swallow and the strongest arguments significantly harder. In other words, storytelling might actually dilute strong facts while …

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A Novel Program at VA Hospitals Uses An Old-World Tradition To Advance Patient Care

Forbes   August 25, 2019 Humans are hardwired for narrative. We think in story, talk in story and connect with others through the power of story. Storytelling is at the heart of a novel program that’s expanding across VA medical facilities across the country. The “My Life, My Story” program uses patient narratives to build a stronger connection …

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Teens Using the Gift of Gab for Action

Hemophilia New Today   June 21, 2019 A group of teens from a local bleeding disorders organization, HACA, (Hemophilia Association of the Capital Area, greater Washington, D.C.) , have stories to share as advocates for themselves or their siblings who have hemophilia. They worked with the StoryCorps app to bring their stories to life. StoryCorps gave them a …

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How blowing into a straw can save your voice

Vox  June 20, 2015 Diana Orbelo, a speech-language pathologist at the Mayo Clinic who helps people with voice problems, offers much advice for those with problem voices and for those who are over-using their voices. Other experts offer videos which demonstrate exercises all storytellers can benefit from — exercises which “rebalance and recoordinate the vocal mechanism” …

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Indiana University biologist uses his own artwork in storytelling approach to microbiology class

News at IU Bloomington      April 9, 2019 Taking advantage of his passion for art, Indiana University biologist Jake McKinlay is taking a creative approach to his advanced undergraduate course on microbial physiology and biochemistry this semester. “Humans are really wired to learn by storytelling,” McKinlay said. “Other people have done research on this, so I …

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What does membership provide?

By Patricia Coffie What does membership provide? Payback on what you invest. When members cease to invest time and talent as well as money, organizations die. I am currently a member of a family group, two historical societies, a storytellers’ guild, a regional storytelling organization (five states and the others too), a national storytelling organization, …

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Effects of storytelling on the childhood brain

FUKUSHIMA JOURNAL OF MEDICAL SCIENCE 2018 Volume 64 Issue 3 Pages 125-132 Effects of storytelling on the childhood brain: near-infrared spectroscopic comparison with the effects of picture-book reading Miyuki Yabe, Sachie Oshima, Satoshi Eifuku, Masato Taira, Kazuto Kobayashi, Hirooki Yabe, Sin-ichi Niwa   In children, storytelling provides many psychological and educational benefits, such as enhanced imagination to help visualize spoken words, …

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How Sharing Stories Of Hope Impacts Addiction Recovery

Side Effect: Public Health Personal Stories    January 9, 2019 Addiction affects millions of Americans. At a live storytelling event held Aug. 14, 2018, Indiana community members who struggle with addiction shared their stories of life in recovery. Stories shared included: a “moment of clarity” that lead to their sobriety a non-typical story of someone …

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Novel approach to medical care? Docs trained in storytelling

WTOP   October 10, 2018 By Rachel Nania WASHINGTON — There is no denying that cutting-edge equipment and pharmaceutical breakthroughs can help save lives — but so can a doctor trained in storytelling. Dr. Rita Charon is a Harvard-trained internist who practices general medicine. She is also a literary scholar who earned her Ph.D. studying the works …

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Kids have a howling good time at library

Port Clinton News Herald  September 10, 2018 MARBLEHEAD – The story of four aging farm animals who run away to become musicians came to life on Saturday when children got to play the parts of the animals —a rooster, cat, dog and donkey — in an interactive storytelling presentation of “The Bremen Town Musicians” at …

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Living Books Tell Their Stories On Saturday at Fayetteville Public Library

Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette  September 7, 2018 18 local residents will be part of the first Human Library event in Northwest Arkansas, based on programs run twenty years ago in Denmark. Organizer Katherine Ganoung says that the Human Library is a chance to bring “storytelling power back to those who lived out their story every day …

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Our job as scientists is to find the truth. But we must also be storytellers

The Guardian     July 19, 2018 Summary How should scientists communicate their discoveries? By using stories, so says Nature magazine and  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences as well as other articles.

Storytelling at American Society of Clinical Oncology

Medscape,     June 3, 2018 Summary The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) had a new session at its annual meeting this year: ASCO Voices. The goal of this storytelling event, was to remind the oncologists of their deep human selves, something that the other data driven sessions wouldn’t be doing. Four stories were selected from …

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Penn Medicine students to participate in first-ever citywide medical story slam

Penn Today      May 7, 2018 Summary Seven medical school in Philadelphia are participating in a story slam in an effort to create open dialogue among doctors, nurses, and medical students who often struggle to express their feelings. “In the medical literature these days, there’s a lot about physicians and med students being burned out, …

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On the importance of storytelling in medicine

Stanford Medicine  April 20, 2017 Summary Data Needs Narrative: Communicating Science to the Public Science is complex. And like many professionals in fields with their own terms unknown to the general public, medical researchers often have difficulty explaining their research to the public. However, stories can animate data. Dhruv Khullar, a resident in internal medicine …

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Why Sharing Your Personal Story Can Offer Real Health Benefits

Oprah.com   February 2018 Summary Sharing a personal story is similar to a group therapy session. The teller is reducing her psychological burden AND the listeners can have a physically healing experience. According to Nancy Morgan, writing clinician and director emeritus of the arts and humanities program at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., …

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Why Science Needs Storytellers

British Science Association  March 1, 2018 Summary Written by Dr. Pippa Malmgren, manufacturer of AI-led aerial robotics at her firm H Robotics and former Presidential Advisor to President George W. Bush, and Jessica Fox, Artist-in-residence at the UK Centre for Synthetic Mammalian Biology and former Storyteller at NASA.   A problem exists: scientists generally don’t …

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Homeless shelter director starts a storytelling group

The State Journal-Register  February 25, 2018 Summary Last year, Erica Smith, executive director at Helping Hands of Springfield homeless shelter and an actress in local community theater, created a storytelling group in Springfield, IL. She stated her initial goals: “I would like to have regular performances with high quality stories and involve as many people …

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Cancer patients who tell their life story find more peace, less depressio

University of Wisconsin–Madison News  January 19, 2018 Summary: In research supported by the National Cancer Institute, researchers measured the effect of a storytelling interview plus online resources on more than 40 people diagnosed with stage 3 or 4 cancer. The interview covered topics including important accomplishments and difficulties overcome, the effects of their cancer on them …

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Indigenous group tackles diabetes with storytelling

TheConversation.com  Jan. 15, 2018 Summary: Similar to many Indigenous groups worldwide, the James Bay Cree of northern Québec have a unexpectedly high rate of diabetes. Their method of their solution was taken from their culture: A Talking Circle in print. Cree health representatives choose people with diabetes whose stories they thought important. Then they hired …

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Storytelling Is Integral to Who We Are

U.S. News, October 2, 2017   Summary: Steven Schlozman, M.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, a child psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and the associate director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital, believes that passing storytelling on to children is critical to their well-being. He …

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‘Storycare’ should be an essential part of health care

The Star.com (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), June 2, 2017 Summary: Dan Yashinsky has been the storyteller-in-residence at Baycrest Health Sciences for three years. He says, “I feel that ‘storycare’ should be an essential part of health care. Storycare means creating times and places in the hospital for people to tell, hear, imagine, and remember stories.” He …

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Why are patient stories valuable in health care?

Institute for Healthcare Improvement: Open School (Cambridge, MA), April 30, 2015   Summary: One of the things that we do a lot of in the area of patient- and family-centered care and in changing culture is storytelling. Stories really help us to connect to the process — the processes that we’re involved in day to …

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Physician-author Abraham Verghese encourages journalists to tell the powerful stories of medicine

Scope – Stranford Medicine (Stanford, CA), April 24, 2015 Summary: Stanford’s Abraham Verghese, MD, greeted hundreds of journalists at the Association of Health Care Journalists 2015 conference with a talk centered on the power of stories and of medicine. There are many types of stories that need to be told, Verghese encouraged his audience. Tell …

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Stories Triggered The Measles Outbreak, And Storytelling Can Stop It

Forbes (Jersey City, NJ), February 3, 2015   Summary: Olivia was 7 years old when she caught the measles. She seemed to be recovering when the disease took a turn. She felt sleepy. Her fingers and her mind weren’t working together. The measles had triggered encephalitis, an acute inflammation of the brain. “In an hour …

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Storytelling for Wellness

Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC), December 10, 2013 Summary: Laura Hope-Gill’s fascination with story and healing began when she was diagnosed with late-onset deafness. She felt that the language her doctor used in delivering her diagnosis had nothing to do with her or her story. “The way it was presented to me, my hearing life was …

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Storytelling for Wellness

Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC), December 10, 2013 Summary: Laura Hope-Gill’s fascination with story and healing began when she was diagnosed with late-onset deafness. She felt that the language her doctor used in delivering her diagnosis had nothing to do with her or her story. “The way it was presented to me, my hearing life was …

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Why Storytelling is the Best Way to Engage Health Care Audiences

Business2Community.com, August 21, 2013 Summary: Relying on numbers at the expense of human judgment and experience, no matter how reassuringly extensive the latter, can lead to poor decision making that has far-reaching consequences (see our recent post on the limitations of “big data”). This was underlined by the Berwick Report on patient safety in the …

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Tuberculosis Storytelling Project for King County Residents

Enumclaw Courier-Herald (Enumclaw, WA), August 3, 2013   Summary: The TB Voices Project for King County seeks people to share their experiences about tuberculosis (TB), whether it affected themselves or someone else in their lives. The project runs until October 2013. The purpose of the TB Voices Project is to allow individuals from all generations …

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Storytelling Helps Convey Science, Medical Data in Tangible Ways

WHYY News (Philadelphlia, PA), May 15, 2013 Summary: Geriatrician Jason Karlawish says stories have a unique power to motivate. A study in Alabama found that patients with high blood pressure were more likely to manage their illness after hearing other people recount success at getting their own diet and stress under control. “Compared to just …

Storytelling Helps Convey Science, Medical Data in Tangible Ways Details »

Storytelling Helps Convey Science, Medical Data in Tangible Ways

WHYY News (Philadelphia, PA), May 15, 2013 Summary: Geriatrician Jason Karlawish says stories have a unique power to motivate. A study in Alabama found that patients with high blood pressure were more likely to manage their illness after hearing other people recount success at getting their own diet and stress under control. “Compared to just …

Storytelling Helps Convey Science, Medical Data in Tangible Ways Details »

How a Physician and Nurse Merge Healing, Storytelling

Press-Citizen (Iowa City, IA), July 11, 2012 By Carol Scott-Conner, a professor of surgery at University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, author of the book of short stories titled A Few Small Moments. Summary: Every year, we teach new medical students how to take a medical history. An adequate medical history succinctly summarizes the …

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How a Physician and Nurse Merge Healing, Storytelling

Press-Citizen (Iowa City, IA), July 11, 2012 By Carol Scott-Conner, a professor of surgery at University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, author of the book of short stories titled A Few Small Moments.   Summary: Every year, we teach new medical students how to take a medical history. An adequate medical history succinctly summarizes …

How a Physician and Nurse Merge Healing, Storytelling Details »

Physicians Emphasize Importance of Storytelling to Advance Patient Care

University of California, San Francisco News (San Francisco, CA), January 24, 2012 Summary: Two doctors who have learned the art of telling stories are convinced that it has become indispensable to top-notch medical care. “A slow cultural shift over the past 20 years led by television — from “St. Elsewhere” to “ER” — has been …

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Learning to Listen

The New York Times (New York, NY), December 29, 2009 Summary: Dr. Rita Charon, professor of clinical medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, is well aware of the power of storytelling. She has a Ph.D. in English — training that changed her medical practice. Through literature, she learned how stories …

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Once Upon a Time There was a Sickness

ABC Online (Australia), April 17, 2008 Summary: Humans are natural storytellers. We’ve been doing it for 30,000 years. But about 2,500 years ago, thanks to Plato, Socrates and other ancient Greeks, we in the West switched to inquiry, dialogue, argument and reason when we had knowledge to impart. We still do today. We still tell …

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Storytelling Can Make a Difference in Conflict

The Times of India (New Delhi, India) , October 1, 2007 Summary: Sarah Kyankya is a writer- publisher at Fountain Publications, Kampala, Uganda’s largest publishing house. She was asked, “There is an ongoing conflict situation in Uganda. Can storytelling make a difference?” Kyankya replied, “The war has meant that the north of the country is …

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Storytellers Tackle Modern Woes with Old Tales

Reuters.uk (UK), May 24, 2007 Summary: Ancient stories first told by the Aztecs and Sumerians are helping businesses and people in the age of the Internet to make sense of modern life. Professional storytellers like Dez Quarrell are using tales culled from cultures around the world to explain the conundrums of modern life for technology …

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