Rita Charon, MD, PhD

Teaching narrative studies in a medical center lets a teacher spread joy and discovery. Dr. Charon has had the privilege of teaching doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, physical therapists, psychoanalysts, and students of all the above about how to get the news from stories—through close reading of novels and memoirs and reflective writing about one’s own practice. These skills, we are learning, make them more effective clinicians. By founding the Program in Narrative Medicine, Dr. Charon has broadcast these methods and practices nationally and internationally, helping Columbia University Medical Center to be the center of fresh and daring means of reconceptualizing what it means to be ill or to care for the sick.

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