Agenda & Dates

This program introduces the tenets and practices of narrative-based medicine for those coming to the field with little or no experience. The program includes live lectures, small group work, readings in narrative-based medicine, and exercises in creative and reflective writing. Guest speakers will include accomplished artists/writers and specialists in narrative-based medicine.


  • Session 1 – Introducing Narrative-Based Medicine
    An overview of the principles and practices of narrative-based medicine (NBM) and the historical and theoretical background; an outline of what to expect from the program; how to benefit most from this work; introductory activities.
  • Session 2 – Narrative Craft I: Close Reading and Reflective Writing
    Introducing participants to linked methods of close reading and reflective writing through a set of practical exercises, discussion of health-related texts, and group activities.
  • Session 3 – Strategies for NBM I: Illness Narratives, Ethics, and Accountability
    An exploration of the experiences of illness and disability through various storytelling genres, and reading and writing exercises; an exploration of emerging issues in the field such as the ethics of writing about practice, patient consent, narrative advocacy, and trauma- informed NBM.
  • Session 4 – Narrative Craft II: The Heart of the Story
    Prose intensive: a deep dive into character, detail, and the shape of narrative in fiction and memoir; creative and reflective writing activities to develop a personal voice.
  • Session 5 – Strategies for NBM II: Narrative Practices in Healthcare
    The application of NBM in day-to-day clinical practice and healthcare contexts with a focus on improving skills for listening, embodied presence and empathic witnessing.
  • Session 6 – Narrative Craft III: Beyond Narrative
    Examining the nature and uses of poetic language, theatrical dialogue, and the visual arts in the NBM context, with a focus on creative play and discovery.
  • Session 7 – Strategies for NBM III: NBM Pedagogy and Facilitation Skills
    A review of hands-on skills for leading small group NBM sessions with colleagues, trainees, and others; designing close reading and reflective writing activities.
  • Session 8 – Narrative-Based Medicine and Self-Care; Next Steps
    Narrative-based methods to address stress and burnout; conclusion, review, and discussion of resources and opportunities for further learning.

Final assignment due in May


Class Time:
8 sessions – 2.5 hours each

Writing time:
2 shorts assignments; 1 long assignment

Mentorship Meeting:
1 hour meeting

Online discussion, peer reviewing, other activities in-between sessions

Total: 39 hours

Winter – Spring 2022
Program Dates & Time

Tuesday Cohort:
January 25th to May 3rd
6:00pm-8:30pm ET
(Every other Tuesday)

  • January 25th
  • February 8th
  • February 22nd
  • March 8th
  • March 22nd
  • April 5th
  • April 19th
  • May 3rd

Thursday Cohort:
January 27th to May 5th
6:00pm-8:30pm ET
(Every other Thursday)

  • January 27th
  • February 10th
  • February 24th
  • March 10th
  • March 24th
  • April 7th
  • April 21st
  • May 5th