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microscopic image of volvox
The Volvox is the first unicellular organism to have figured out, sometime about 200 million years ago in the Triassic Period, that living in multicellular colonies was more powerful, more economical, more helpful toward survival, and maybe more fun than existing as separate isolated cells.  Narrative Medicine has adopted the volvox as an icon of teamwork, transdisciplinary scholarship, the many working as one." - Rita Charon

It is in the spirit of the volvox, a monthly networking group was formed in NYC to present and discuss the varied pathways Narrative Medicine can be applied not only in clinical settings, but through education, publication, and everyday life.

VOLVOX: Making Narrative Medicine Happen presents:

September 20, 2023 | Words for the Weary: Building House Staff Curricula for Professional Wellbeing with Annie Robinson, MS'14

October 18, 2023 | What's in a feeling: Shame and (Professional) Identity in Medical School with Penelope Lusk, MS '20

November 15, 2023 | Listening Both Ways: Joining Narrative & Structural Competence for Health Justice with Brianna Cusanno, CPA'20

January 17, 2023 | A Daughter’s Silence Amid AIDS: How Narrative Medicine Changed the Way I Tell my Story with Melanie Brooks CPA '23


Graphic Medicine Club

The Graphic Narratives/Graphic Medicine workshop grew out of an inspiring Comics and Medicine conference in Toronto in 2012. Pat Stanley and Marsha Hurst returned from this Conference determined to create a discussion community based in Narrative Medicine for anyone interested in reading and exploring graphic novels, and particularly graphic illness narratives. The group has met roughly once per month during the academic year since Fall 2012, usually at the Columbia Alumni Center, or at Butler Library. The workshop is now co-coordinated by graphic artist Kriota Willberg, Narrative Medicine alumni Mario de la Cruz, and Narrative Medicine faculty member Marsha Hurst. We are often joined by Karen Green, Graphic Novels Librarian and Curator for Comics and Cartoons at Columbia and director of Comics@Columbia. The workshop is open to anyone who is interested in graphic novels and would like to share this close reading experience with others. To put your name on the email list for meeting announcements, contact Kriota Willberg.

Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine

Created in 2010 by a group of graduate students in the Master of Science program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, Intima is a literary journal dedicated to promoting the theory and practice of Narrative Medicine, an interdisciplinary field that enhances healthcare through the  effective communication and understanding between caregivers and patients. Our name Intima has a specific resonance in the field: Narrative Medicine defines itself as the intimate interface between two people, one as healer, one as being healed, who both yield and gain from the experience of the clinical encounter. Contact managing Editor and Class of 2014 alum Donna Bulseco for more information or click here for submission guidelines.

Narrative Medicine Educators

NM Educators aims to provide a safe space to talk about anything that relates to educating from "how to edit a hypertext" to "how to engage entrepreneurially with a new college".  Membership is free, but exclusive to Columbia Narrative Medicine alums.  Monthly meetings are coordinated by video conferencing. Althought most meetings are pretty casual, there is always a host and a scribe to take the minutes which are shared with everyone in the group.  When there isn't a featured speaker, discussion topics include: educational settings, integration of Narrative Medicine in higher education curricula, workshop development, pedagogy, promotion and sales, competition, text and prompt selection.  For more information contact Class of 2016 alum: Derek McCracken

Social Justice in Narrative Medicine

This group was born out of a desire to create space for students and alumni to explore issues of Social Justice within the Narrative Medicine Program, in Narrative Medicine practice, and in healthcare. Monthly newsletters are produced and weekend video conferences are held to share ideas and stories about how to contribute to manifesting one of the goals of Narrative Medicine: to recognize, absorb, metabolize, interpret, and be moved by the stories of the "Other". For more information contact Allison Coffelt, MS'20, MA or Sally Huang, MS'19, MD.



various shades of blue circles overlapping each other behind the exchange logo


Alumnx Weekend: VIRTUAL EVENT

Open to all NMED MS and NMED Certificate alumnx!

Columbia Narrative Medicine will be virtually hosting the fourth annual Narrative Medicine ExCHANGE in June 2024, an interactive opportunity for graduates from both the MS and CPA programs to unite our growing NMED community, nurture new collaborations, and combine forces within our networks to further the mission of Narrative Medicine and applicable career pathways.   As part of Columbia Narrative Medicine's commitment to Social Justice efforts, we wish to explore and highlight both practical and potential applications of NM towards social justice efforts in clinical, academic, and community settings. UPDATE YOUR INFORMATION to make sure you hear are in the loop.


For over a decade Columbia Narrative Medicine has been improving the quality of care around the world.  Make sure your information is up-to-date so we always know the best way to reach you.


Post-Graduate Fellows in Narrative Medicine

The Narrative Medicine Fellowship supports projects that fortify the field of narrative medicine. Candidates for the fellowship must be graduates of Columbia University Master's of Science in Narrative Medicine who are interested in promoting narrative understanding in patient care, professional education, and curriculum development, or in forging new pathways in research important to the growth of the field of narrative medicine. Proposals are due Monday, July 31, 2023 for funding during the 2023-2024 academic year. 


Invest in our shared mission to fortify medical professionals, artists, and writers with the skills to improve the quality of care around the world.  Simply type in "Narrative Medicine Gift Account" here and give today.