Narrative-Based Medicine in Practice: A Primer with Allan Peterkin

Tuesday, April 2 & Tuesday, May 7, 2024 – 6:00 – 8:30 pm ET



Allan Peterkin, a leading voice in the application of narrative-based medicine, will introduce simple, practical ways you can integrate narrative-based medicine into your daily clinical practice in this two-part primer.

Drawing upon his vast experience with therapeutic writing, bibliotherapy, and poetry prescriptions, Dr. Peterkin will demonstrate strategies that will help you master clinical communication and engage patients/clients in collaborative storytelling about their health concerns. You will also practice key narrative skills through reflective writing exercises and gain a deeper appreciation for how you can invite your patients/clients to write about their own illness experiences and health journeys.

With guidance, you will apply a narrative strategy in your own clinical practice in between sessions and further refine what works for you and your patients/clients. Ultimately, you will develop the skills and confidence to use narrative-based practices with patients, clients, and caregivers.

This workshop is geared towards health professionals interested in learning practical narrative strategies that can be applied in a busy day-to-day professional practice.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify practical ways to integrate narrative-based medicine into patient care
  • Describe the role of writing in reflecting on practice scenarios
  • Apply a narrative/collaborative storytelling strategy in practice

Session Dates & Times

The two parts that comprise this offering will take place 5 weeks apart to allow time for learners to practice narrative-based medicine applications. Dates and times for the two parts are:

  • Tuesday, April 2, 2024 from 6:00 – 8:30 pm ET
  • Tuesday, May 7, 2024 from 6:00 – 8:30 pm ET


Program Fee: $525

All amounts are in Canadian Dollars (CAD $) and are subject to 13% HST.


Cancellations will be accepted until Tuesday, March 26, 2024 and are subject to a processing fee of $60 plus applicable taxes. Refunds will not be processed after this date.

Requests for cancellation must be made in writing to .

Registrations are not transferable.

The University of Toronto reserves the right to cancel events. Registrants will be notified at the earliest possible date in the event of a cancellation. Registration fees for events cancelled by the University will be refunded; however, the University will not be liable for any loss, damages or other expenses that such cancellations may cause.


Continuing Professional Development (CPD), Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, is fully accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Continuing Medical Education (CACME), a subcommittee of the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS). This standard allows CPD to review and assess educational activities based on the criteria established by The College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (Royal College) has established agreements with each of the American Medical Association (AMA), and the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME®) where activities approved for Royal College MOC Credits are eligible for conversion to AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ and UEMS-EACCME European CME Credit (ECMEC®) credits, respectively.


Allan Peterkin completed a degree in English and French literature before completing medical school at the University of Manitoba.

He went on to complete residencies in psychiatry and family medicine at McGill, all the while working on his own creative writing projects. As a resident, he published “Staying Human During Residency Training-How To Survive and Thrive After Medical School” (now in its 7th North American edition and 1st UK edition). Dr Peterkin is a full Professor of psychiatry and family medicine at the University of Toronto, where he founded the Program in Health, Arts and Humanities. He has served as the inaugural Humanities Faculty Lead for Undergraduate Medical Education, Post Graduate Medical Education and Continuing Professional Development.

He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Psychiatric Association and Senior Fellow at Massey College. He was the winner of the US-based Health Humanities Consortium Visionary Award in 2023.

Dr Peterkin was a co-founder of Creating Space-Canada’s annual medical humanities meeting, now in its 12th year, and was instrumental in founding the Canadian Association for Health Humanities. He has always been interested in the interface between medicine and storytelling and co-led a therapeutic writing group for men and women living with HIV for 20 years. A collection of these patients’ narratives was published as “Still Here-a Post-Cocktail Aids Anthology” (Life Rattle Press). This work led to further training in narrative-based medicine in the US and UK and he was a pioneer in bringing narrative practice approaches in healthcare to Canada.

Dr Peterkin has written/edited 15 books on subjects as varied as cultural history, human sexuality, physician health and narrative-based medicine.

His health humanities titles include : “Portfolio to Go-1000 Prompts and Provocations for Clinical Learners”, “Health Humanities in Postgraduate Medical Education” with Dr Anna Skorzewska, and “Keeping Reflection Fresh-a Practical Guide for Clinical Educators”, with Pamela Brett-Maclean PHD.

He is also an author of 5 picture books for children. Recent titles include “The Flyaway Blanket” , “National Geographic Kids’ Dream Journal” and “Peacock and Sketch”.

Dr Peterkin was a co-founder of the award-winning Canadian literary journal Ars Medica and has been a humanities editorial consultant to CMAJ and Medical Humanities (BMJ).

His poetry, journalistic pieces and creative non-fiction have appeared in journals and magazines in the US, Canada and the UK.

He is delighted to be the founder and current Program Director of the CPD Certificate Program in Narrative-based Medicine, which has trained colleagues from all over the world. This program continues to create new opportunities for finding renewal and community by celebrating the stories and narrative practices shared by students, colleagues, patients and educators from multiple clinical and arts-based disciplines.