About Us

The Narrative-Based Medicine Lab (NBM Lab) is Canada’s home for teaching, research, and innovation in Narrative-Based Medicine.

Background of Narrative Based Medicine

Narrative-Based Medicine is premised on the understanding that, knowingly and unknowingly, practitioners and patients co-create narratives about illness, health, and healing over the course of their encounters. These stories — with their multiple characters, conflicts and desires, subtleties, and miscommunications — affect the nature and meaning of health events in all our lives. Thus, getting better at working with stories of all kinds has a powerful impact on both patient care and practitioner fulfillment.

Housed at Continuing Professional Development within the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, we offer programming that strives to:

  • introduce the core theories and practices of NBM
  • promote creative applications of NBM
  • explore the role of the arts in practitioner well-being and patient care
  • build community amongst professionals interested in working with narrative in healthcare

Through engaging with the tools and methods of narrative-based inquiry, our learners have developed the skills to become better communicators, collaborators, and health advocates.

What Some of Our Participants Have Said

“I have so far completed 3 Narrative-Based Medicine [offerings]. They have helped me reconnect [after] burnout and have helped me see the humanity in medicine again. Damian and Karen created such supportive online communities while sharing their knowledge and creative inquiry.”

— Family Physician

Our Offerings

The content of each offering is informed by one of four areas of focus. These areas include the following themes:

  • Narrative Strategies in Clinical Practice
  • Writing for Healthcare Providers
  • Storytelling through the Arts and Humanities
  • Ethics, Equity, and Inquiry in NBM

The Foundational Certificate introduces the principles and practices of NBM and the craft of reading, writing, and listening. Those looking to dive deeper into an area of interest within NBM can consider our Advanced Certificate, which provides the opportunity for learners to work on a Mentored Advanced Project with the guidance of a mentor.

Our many stand-alone offerings can be completed towards the Advanced Certificate, or taken on their own. They provide a great introduction to NBM for those who are new to the field or wish to learn more about a specific focus within NBM.

These offerings have explored the connections between narrative and visual art, narrative approaches to resilience, mindfulness meditation in life and professional practice, and so much more. We are always developing new offerings that speak to the evolving interests and needs of our learners. Explore all of our upcoming offerings.

Join our community of professionals interested in the intersection of reading, writing, and healthcare.