Narrative medicine is a clinical practice fortified by complex narrative skills that equip healthcare professionals to recognize, absorb, interpret, and be moved to action by patients’ and colleagues’ stories of illness. Founded in 2000 at Columbia University by the authors of this volume, narrative medicine provides rigorous conceptual frameworks and practical clinical methods to increase the accuracy and scope of clinicians’ knowledge of their patients and to deepen their therapeutic partnerships. This book presents the authors’ views, enriched by collaboration with a worldwide network of colleagues, of the workings of the narrative, relational, and reflexive processes of healthcare. Literary theory, narratology, continental philosophies, aesthetic theory, and cultural studies provide the intellectual foundations of narrative medicine, while primary care practice, patient-centered care, psychoanalysis, and interprofessional practice supply the clinical foundations.
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