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.


  • Week 1 – Introducing Narrative-Based Medicine
    An overview of the principles and practices of narrative-based medicine (NBM) with a focus on introducing participants to the methods of close reading and creative/reflective writing
  • Week 2 – Illness Narratives
    An exploration of the experiences of illness and disability through various storytelling genres and close reading and reflective writing exercises.
  • Week 3 – Practical Strategies
    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.
  • Week 4 – Poetry Craft: The Power of Lyric Language
    Enhancing creative writing skills through close reading of published poems, craft-building exercises and a talk by a guest poet/writer.
  • Week 5 – Creative Non-Fiction: Writing from Memory & Imagination
    Developing skills for life writing (such as personal essay and memoir) through discussion of selected texts, hands-on exercises and a talk by guest artist/writer.
  • Week 6 – Ethics and Accountability in NBM
    An exploration of emerging issues in the field such as the ethics of writing about practice and patient consent, narrative advocacy, trauma- informed NBM; narrative methods to address stress and burnout
  • Week 7 – Narrative Medicine Pedagogy – 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
  • Week 8 – Writing Feedback / Resources / Next Steps
    An opportunity for small group manuscript review; reflections on learning; discussion of next steps and resources 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

Fall 2021
Program Dates & Time

Tuesday Cohort:
September 21 to January 4
6:00pm-8:30pm ET
(Every other Tuesday.)

  • 21 September
  • 05 October
  • 19 October
  • 02 November
  • 16 November
  • 30 November
  • 14 December
  • 04 January

Thursday Cohort:
September 23 to January 6
6:00pm-8:30pm ET
(Every other Thursday)

  • 23 September
  • 07 October
  • 21 October
  • 04 November
  • 18 November
  • 02 December
  • 16 December
  • 06 January