Minding the Gap(s): Narrativity and LiminaIity In Medical Student Writing

Therese Jones, Felicia Cohn, and Johanna Shapiro

With the publication of The Wounded Storyteller, sociologist Arthur Frank made a major contribution to conceptualizing and classifying patient pathographies or stories of illness. The categories of illness narratives that he identified-restitution, chaos, quest, testimony are now widely applied as interpretive frameworks for the patient experience of illness. Elsewhere Cohn and Shapiro, et al., argue that, at the deepest level, Frank’s categories are relevant to the human condition, to those narratives that emerge from suffering, powerlessness, and loss of control.” Because medical students experience traumatic and transformative events in the course of their training, the stories they construct can also be understood and organized through similar conceptual categories.”

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