gms | German Medical Science

15. Grazer Konferenz – Qualität der Lehre: Teaching and Learning – Expanding our Resources

28. - 30. April 2011 Wien, Österreich

Can a course in Narrative Medicine Influence Positively the Patient-Physician Relationship?

Poster

  • corresponding author Michael Dennis Linder - Medical University of Graz, Research Unit of Behavioural Medicine, Health Psychology and Empirical Psychosomatics, Graz, Austria; University of Padua, Unit of Dermatology, Italy
  • author Eva-Maria Trapp - Medical University of Graz, Research Unit of Behavioural Medicine, Health Psychology and Empirical Psychosomatics, Graz, Austria
  • author Michael Trapp - Medical University of Graz, Research Unit of Behavioural Medicine, Health Psychology and Empirical Psychosomatics, Graz, Austria; Medical University of Graz, University Clinic of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Graz, Austria
  • author Francois Goupy - Hôtel Dieu de Paris, Paris, France
  • author Nicolas Dantchev - Hôtel Dieu de Paris, Paris, France
  • author Patrick Triadou - Hôpital Necker Enfants Malades, Faculté de Médecine, Université Paris Descartes, France
  • author Claire Le Jeunne - Hôtel Dieu de Paris, Paris, France

15. Grazer Konferenz – Qualität der Lehre: Teaching and Learning – expanding our resources. Wien, Österreich, 28.-30.04.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. Doc11grako29

DOI: 10.3205/11grako29, URN: urn:nbn:de:0183-11grako298

Published: April 25, 2012

© 2012 Linder et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.en). You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.


Poster

In two other posters presented at the 15. Grazer Konferenz – Qualität der Lehre (Vienna, April 26th – 28th, 2011), we described the main features of a course in Narrative Medicine organized during the 2010-summer term at Paris Descartes University as well as the results of an email based poll performed after the course to assess the degree of satisfaction of the participants.

In the present poster, besides exploring in more detail the concept of narrative medicine, we discuss the issue of whether a course dedicated to this subject may prove conducive to a better patient-physician relationship: “Sick persons rely on their physicians for skilled diagnosis, effective therapy, and human recognition of their suffering.

Although medicine has made dazzling progress in achieving the first two of these goals, its capacity to fulfil the third goal seems to have diminished.” [1]. Suffering, as put by Eric Cassell [2], is not confined to physical symptoms and is perceived by the patient as a threat to the impending destruction of her/his personality, as a loss of meaning. So often the first question asked by the patient is not: “How can you treat my disease?” but rather “Why did I become sick?”, i.e. patients undertake a search for meaning in the attempt of accepting the disease and redefining their personal history. But meaning is conveyed through narratives, and acquiring skills in attentive listening to the patients’ stories allows doctors to support patients in reconstructing their lives: narrative offers an opportunity to knit together the split ends of time, to construct a new context and to fit the illness disruption into a temporal framework [3].

By presenting these concepts more in detail, the poster aims to demonstrate why courses in narrative medicine may foster “narrative competence” in young doctors and eventually facilitate a better patient/physician relationship.


References

1.
Charon R, Banks JT, Connelly JE, Hawkins AH, Jones AH, Montello M, Poirer S. Literature and Medicine: Contributions to Clinical Practice. Ann Intern Med. 1995;122(8):599-606.
2.
Cassel E. The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Medicine. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1991.
3.
Hydén LC. Illness and narrative. Soc Health Illness. 1997;19(1):48-69. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.1997.tb00015.x External link