I Can’t Understand Your Story

Medicine tells a story

Medicine tells a story

Telling your story has always been important.

Imagine your elders camped by a fire telling stories.

Indian Country holds stories dear. Stories keep cultures alive and warm.

Today medical practitioners welcome a new form of story-telling called narrative medicine.

Point is to enable patients to have their stories heard.

I was excited when I first learned about narrative medicine and I thought, here’s a break-through: doctors will actually listen to their patients.

My framework translates narrative medicine as an opportunity to learn about health through many means, not simply through the lens of a physician.

This week I received a notice about a workshop on narrative medicine.

I was excited to scan through the notice but then stopped cold. I couldn’t understand any of it.

The notice announces a workshop on “narrative advocacy” where folks will:

Read exemplar works which showcase both varied advocacy focus areas (patient care/ practice improvement, research dissemination, medical education, health policy) and diverse platforms (medical journals, the lay press, blogs, and health policy journals).

I have no idea what that means.

Here I sit, an active audience member, and I cannot discern what the hell the statement means.

A further enticement reads:

Next they will draft the beginnings of a narrative advocacy piece and, in a works-in-progress style workshop, receive peer and faculty feedback on their topic, approach, and possible publication sites for their pieces.

Seems dumb that I can’t understand the narrative about teaching about narrative.

Image from http://www.economist.com/node/14119801


About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in american indian, framing, Native Science, science, science communication, social media, writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to I Can’t Understand Your Story

  1. Lol, academics. I know the feeling and I’m part of that crowd too.


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