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Poetry in Healthcare

By Diane Kaufman I am a poet and a child psychiatrist. Beginning in childhood and all the way through my now senior years, I have found poetry to be a life saver. It is a paradox that poetry written in words can help convey that which feels beyond mere words to express. Poetry is like…

A Life Far Distant from My Own

By Lisa Goren A Letter On behalf of the Social Security Administration’s Cleveland Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, please accept our condolences on the loss of your brother and our colleague, Dr. Hershel Goren. I speak for everyone when I say that our thoughts are with you and your family. I hope that you…

Storytelling in the Exam Room

By Patricia Kullberg Mrs. Truong is tired inside, dizzy behind her eyes, and her sleep is no good. There is a buzzing in her chest. The left side of her body feels swollen, her left arm hurts and doesn’t work right. The pain, she says through the interpreter, is very deep. Perhaps worst of all,…

The Northwest Narrative Medicine Project: A Monthly Series

Starting Tuesday, January 10, the Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative launches a monthly series with a focus on how stories – spoken, written, visual or performed — help shape our experience of healthcare. Facilitated by patients, writers, and healthcare professionals, each 1.5-hour session will share a unique perspective and include an interactive component for participants. When:…

Mom’s New Friend

By Anne Richardson Part of processing my mother’s unfolding journey with Alzheimer’s has been to write poetry. This was the first poem where Alzheimer’s evolved as its own character and I allowed myself to address “her” directly. Even that took several drafts, as I originally kept myself at a distance (referring to myself as “daughter”…

Polka Dot Pelvis

By Valerie Correa  I wrote this poem about my bone biopsies for leukemia in one writing after being awoke from a dream in the middle of the night.  I had gone to a masseuse for a massage and was telling him what my “polka dot” scars where from.  It was healing to write about  repeated…

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A message from Rita Charon

Greetings from the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University in New York! I so wish I could be with you all in Portland September 16-18 for the NWNM inaugural conference. I am assuming that there will be many more! Looking at the program, I see many of you–Louise Aronson, Elizabeth Lahti, Ellen Michaelson, among…

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Founding members of the Collaborative, April Brenneman & Dr. Elizabeth Lahti, talk about the inaugural NWNM Conference

The conference took place on September 16 – 18th, 2016 with KATU 2. See the full story here. https://katu.com/news/local/healing-patients-and-teaching-doctors-using-collaborative-art-narrative

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Scholarship Stories

“Maybe I wanted to be the oncologist my mother never met, the one who read the book she recommended; the one who listened to the time course of her symptoms and how she experienced illness.”

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Lonely Expats

By Natalie Serber A friend and I were talking about cancer. (It pains me to write that sentence.) My friend has had a recent breast cancer diagnosis. (That sentence hurts too.) She was telling me about unexpected feelings that have showed up for her.  Aside from worry and fear and confusion, she wished, she said,…

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