Our Stories


Here’s what’s happening on in our corner of Narrative Medicine. What’s going on in yours? Drop us a line and let us know!

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…

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

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.”

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,…

Download a flyer

Would you like a flyer to distribute or post at your own institution, organization, coffee shop, library, bus stop, waiting room or anywhere else people might be interested in hearing more about the September 16-18, 2016 Northwest Narrative Medicine Conference? Click the link below: NWNM2016ConferenceFlyer

Widening the Differential

“You don’t have to be a good writer to be a good doctor; in fact, you don’t even have to take a college English course. I had already been told that in medicine, brevity is beauty.”

A Healing Relationship

“The wisest doctors I’ve known understand that the mind and heart lie not in two separate boxes but on a continuum; they believe each patient and physician should determine the optimal point of balance in their relationship.”

Registration is now open!

Registration is now open for the first Northwest Narrative Medicine Conference. Be sure to check out our speakers and schedule and learn more about StoryBeat LIVE! We look forward to seeing you in September!

The Art of Vulnerability

When I heard the words “round, blue-cell, and sarcoma” in the same sentence with my four-year-old son’s name (Joshua); all I could manage was three violent kicks to the wall by the surgery waiting room while tears flowed. As treatment started and trudged forward, I fell into an overwhelming cycle of shock, denial, hyper-vigilance, Post…

Recommended Reading

The NWNMC committee members put together the following list of recommended reading. The list came from a natural sharing of resources and ideas. There is no rhyme or reason to the list–just a few recommendations we thought we’d pass along. Enjoy! Novels/Memoirs Bateson, Mary Catherine, Ph.D. Composing a Life. Coutts, Marion. The Iceberg: A Memoir…

What Narrative Medicine Means to Me

“What I have come to learn is that to understand the stories of illness one must also understand the stories of wellness—of the patient, the student, the nurse, the case manager, the specialist, the resident, the caregiver and the scientist. One must be intimately self-aware, but also open to the vast possibility and perspective of others.”

Welcome to the Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative

We are a diverse group of professionals, physicians, instructors, writers, artists, care givers and patients with a passion for engaging in conversation, creating community and exploring narrative as it pertains to health, illness and care taking. Learn more. Thank you for coming to visit us. Stay tuned for a more robust website, and be sure…




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What We’re Reading Now

Connections in Narrative Medicine


Narrative Healthcare

The Nocturnists