Afterword: Diary of a Med Student

Johanna Shapiro PhD

Narrative medicine is a way of thinking about medicine that emphasizes the importance of stories as a crucial component of healthcare. in any healthcare context, one of narrative medicine’s most essential questions is, “Who gets to tell the story?” Whose voice is heard, and whose is not? Who is center stage and who is silent?
Historically, patients’ voices were often subordinated to those of their physicians. Even today, with enlightened concepts such as shared decision-making and patient-centered medicine receiving well-deserved prominence in healthcare, patients often find it difficult to make themselves heard. They sometimes choose to reclaim their voices through writing first person narratives and poetry, or blogging about their experiences. In this way they are able prioritize their reality by sharing their words with others.

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