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Rita Charon

, Sayantani DasGupta

, Nellie Hermann

, Craig Irvine

, Eric R. Marcus

, Edgar Rivera Colón

, Danielle Spencer

, and Maura Spiegel

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date: 22 January 2022

The care of the sick centers on the giving and receiving of accounts of illness. Narrative medicine arose at the turn of this century to equip healthcare professionals with the capacity to skillfully receive these accounts—to recognize, absorb, interpret, and be moved to action by the stories patients tell. The Introduction summarizes the field’s emergence from narrative theory and primary healthcare in an effort to heighten the attention of clinicians for their patients, strengthen their perception of a patient’s situation, and deepen the affiliation between them. The field’s scholarly, educational, and clinical missions are summarized, and a précis of each of the book’s chapters is offered.

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