Narrative Medicine: A Pilot Project at the Skills Lab of the University Medical Center Mainz

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2016.0456-0460

german translation / full article

Anita Wohlmann, Miriam Halstein

Keywords: Narrative Medicine Literature and Arts Doctor-Patient-Communication Patient Narratives Illness Experience

Summary: This article examines how the liberal arts and humanities can be interwoven with university education and continuing education for medical practitioners. Based on research that emphasizes the importance of hermeneutics and storytelling for a patient-oriented medicine, this article illustrates how methods from literature studies and literary criticism can be used to train an understanding of the multilayeredness, ambiguity and contradictory nature of illness experiences. The article presents a pilot project at at the University Medical Center Mainz, which is inspired by the concepts of narrative-based medicine and in which a group of medical students interpreted literary works and a painting. The course aspired after the following learning objectives: increased awareness and mindfulness in observation, acknowledgment of different perspectives and reflection on their individual perceptions and biases. The contribution discusses the results of the anonymous student evaluation and considers how literature and visual arts can foster “narrative competence” in doctors.

(State: 14.11.2016)

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