Arts and Poetry in the Clinic: A Novel Approach to Enhancing Patient Care and Job Satisfaction

by Tan Q. Nguyen, MD and Johanna Shapiro, PhD

Working in a federally qualified health center (FQHC) presents many challenges including limited time to develop a deep understanding of patients’ complex health issues and psychosocial needs. The frustration from both physicians and patients stimulated us to think creatively. We incorporated arts and poetry into our practice to improve patient experience; help clinicians and patients work together more effectively towards common goals; and improve job satisfaction for physicians and staff. Most primary care practices face patient and staff frustrations. Regardless of differences in settings, they can benefit from including the arts because of a shared commitment to holistic, patient-centered care.

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