Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Grand Rounds @ Rickety Contrivances of Doing Good

Check out this week's Grand Rounds at Rickety Contrivances. It has a great spin to it:

This week's theme is Narrative Medicine. Pioneered by Rita Charon, an internist and professor at Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons, Narrative Medicine trains doctors and other caregivers to use careful listening and reflective writing to forge deeper connections with their patients, resulting in better care.

Charon describes three essential components of narrative medicine:

Attention: Listening carefully to patients, which includes remaining sensitive to what they may not be saying, gives the caregiver potentially valuable information and also makes the patient feel more cared for.

Representation: Using writing to reflect on patient interactions helps caregivers understand both their own feelings and those of their patients more deeply.

Affiliation: The process of attending carefully to patients and reflecting on patient stories ultimately makes caregivers stronger and more passionate patient advocates, because they've become more invested in their patients' care.