Online Certification of Professional Achievement in Narrative Medicine

In 2017, Columbia University launched an online Certification of Professional Achievement in Narrative Medicine. The program is designed to accommodate individuals who are seeking further training in Narrative Medicine, but who are unable to relocate to New York City for the Master’s Program.

Narrative medicine proposes that the goals of health care include social justice, recognition of the whole persons who care and are cared for, and the development of trust and self-discovery within committed clinical relationships. The Narrative Medicine Certification of Professional Achievement program fulfills these objectives by educating a leadership corps of health professionals, writers, and scholars who seek to imbue patient care and professional education with the skills and values of narrative understanding.

This new program is developed specifically for students who seek ways to bring narrative methods into their clinical or teaching practices. This program introduces students to the principles and practice of narrative medicine through rigorous courses leading to intellectual growth, interpersonal relationships, and personal insight. Students will practice designing and evaluating narrative training interventions in clinical settings. Those who complete the Certification Program gain the equivalent of six credits toward the Master of Science in Narrative Medicine, should they elect to continue their professional study of narrative medicine.

Taught by Columbia University Narrative Medicine faculty, each course combines multimedia presentations, weekly creative assignments, and collaborative activities to build skills in the clinical and personal aspects of narrative medicine.

Offered part-time for working professionals, the Narrative Medicine Certification program is available almost entirely online with the addition of one non-credit in-person weekend workshop during the spring term.

The courses will be asynchronous, which means that there is no required meeting time. Students will have the flexibility of accessing course materials, lectures, and assignments within a specific weekly frame that works with their schedules. Students will interact in discussion groups and forums, participate in collaborative and independent coursework, and learn from prerecorded videos. Students enrolled online have access to world-class instruction by Columbia faculty, career and professional development, and personal feedback on written assignments.

View Certification Program Course Listings

Upon Completion

You will join the leaders of a developing field, studying at the institution that pioneered the discipline of narrative medicine. Research shows that the practice of narrative medicine can improve the quality of health care, and our students are positioned to champion narrative medicine practice in medical schools and hospitals and to evaluate the impact of these programs on clinical practice and quality of care. They will become members of the Columbia Narrative Medicine community, equipped with skills to generate narrative work and to uphold and promote Columbia’s standards for the intellectual, clinical, and research work of narrative medicine, with the experience that can also serve as a stepping stone to further study.

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