“The forest and the trees”: a narrative medicine curriculum by residents for residents

A publication by MS alumnx Anoushka Sinha, Carly S. Slater, Alyson Lee, Harini Sridhar, and Director of Clinical Practice, Columbia Narrative Medicine Deepthiman Gowda

March 24, 2024

A 7-session narrative medicine (NM) curriculum was designed and facilitated by pediatrics residents for pediatrics residents in order to unpack challenging experiences during clinical training and strengthen relationships with colleagues and patients. The primary facilitator, a resident with a master’s degree in NM, provided facilitator training to her co-residents with whom she co-led the workshops in the curriculum. We conducted, transcribed, and analyzed individual interviews of 15 residents, with three resultant themes: reflection on personal and professional identity; connection to others and community building; and reconceptualization of medical practice. Residents shared that they experienced greater solidarity, professional fulfillment, appreciation for multiple facets of their identities, recognition of holding space for vulnerability, and advocacy for marginalized populations. Our study highlights the feasibility and effectiveness of peer-led NM workshops to enhance clinical training through self-reflection, inclusion of persons from underrecognized backgrounds, and promotion of values consistent with humanistic care. (Read the paper here)